T-cell defined tumor antigens: Perspectives for cancer vaccine development
Van den Eynde BJ.
Tumor cells usually express antigens that can be recognized by autologous cytolytic T lymphocytes (CTL). A number of these antigens have now been characterized at the molecular level, and their mechanism of expression has been uncovered, thereby allowing us to define their tumor-specificity. On this basis, the tumor antigens can be classified into five major groups: tumor-specific shared antigens, differentiation antigens, antigens resulting from mutations, antigens overexpressed in tumors, and viral antigens. Current knowledge about these different tumor antigens will be reviewed here in the light of their use as targets for specific immunotherapy of cancer. Preliminary results of clinical trials based on some of these antigens will be discussed.