, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 249-255
Date: 24 Dec 2003

Monitoring tumor antigen specific T-cell responses in cancer patients and phase I clinical trials of peptide-based vaccination

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Numerous phase I and II clinical trials testing the safety and immunogenicity of various peptide vaccine formulations based on CTL-defined tumor antigens in cancer patients have been reported during the last 7 years. While specific T-cell responses can be detected in a variable fraction of immunized patients, an even smaller but significant fraction of these patients have objective tumor responses. Efficient therapeutic vaccination should aim at boosting naturally occurring antitumor T- and B-cell responses and at sustaining a large number of tumor antigen specific and fully functional effector T cells at tumor sites. Recent progress in our ability to quantitatively and qualitatively monitor tumor antigen specific CD8 T-cell responses will greatly help in making rapid progress in this field.

This work was presented at the first Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Summer School, 8–13 September 2003, Ionian Village, Bartholomeio, Peloponnese, Greece.