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Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 0,246
Online ISSN 1827-160X
Cancer Immunotherapy and Gene Therapy Program DIBIT, H S. Raffaele, Milan, Italy
A number of studies have demonstrated that cytolytic T lymphocytes (CTLs) specifically recognising autologous tumor cells, can be isolated from peripheral blood (PBLs) and tumor infiltrating-lymphocytes (TILs) of cancer patients. The in vivo role of such tumor-specific effectors has been suggested by results from both adoptive immunotherapy and active vaccination based clinical trials. These observations justify the extensive ongoing effort directed towards the characterisation of the molecular nature of tumor associated antigens (TAAs) recognised by T cells. According to the pattern of expression in neoplastic and normal tissues, these antigens can be classified into several classes, which have different degrees of tumor specificity and clinical relevance. A large array of TAAs have been identified from melanoma cells, however, antigens resulting from point mutations have recently been found that are recognised by autologous T lymphocytes in renal, head and neck, and bladder carcinomas. This suggests that “immunogenicity” is not a specific feature restricted to melanoma cells. The identification of human tumor rejection antigens opens new possibilities for systematic approaches to the specific immune therapy of cancer. This review summarises the current knowledge of human tissue-specific TAAs recognised by T cells.