Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy

, 60:1299

MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3, and NY-ESO-1 can be upregulated on neuroblastoma cells to facilitate cytotoxic T lymphocyte-mediated tumor cell killing

Authors

    • Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Stem Cell TransplantationPenn State Hershey Children’s Hospital
  • Kimberly Dunham
    • Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Stem Cell TransplantationPenn State Hershey Children’s Hospital
  • Kenneth Lucas
    • Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Stem Cell TransplantationPenn State Hershey Children’s Hospital
Original article

DOI: 10.1007/s00262-011-1037-z

Cite this article as:
Bao, L., Dunham, K. & Lucas, K. Cancer Immunol Immunother (2011) 60: 1299. doi:10.1007/s00262-011-1037-z

Abstract

Approximately half of patients with stage IV neuroblastoma are expected to relapse despite current therapy, and when this occurs, there is little likelihood of achieving a cure. Very few clinical trials have been conducted to determine whether cellular immune responses could be harnessed to fight this tumor, largely because potential tumor antigens for cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) are limited. MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3, and NY-ESO-1 are cancer-testis (CT) antigens expressed on a number of malignant solid tumors, including neuroblastoma, but many tumor cell lines down-regulate the expression of CT antigens as well as major histocompatibility (MHC) antigens, precluding recognition by antigen-specific T cells. If expression of cancer antigens on neuroblastoma could be enhanced pharmacologically, CT antigen-specific immunotherapy could be considered for this tumor. We have demonstrated that the expression of MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3, and NY-ESO-1 can be upregulated on neuroblastoma cells following exposure to pharmacologic levels of the demethylating agent 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine (decitabine, DAC). Expression of NY-ESO-1, MAGE-A1, or MAGE-A3 was induced in 10/10 neuroblastoma cell lines after 5 days of exposure to DAC. Culture of neuroblastoma cell lines with IFN-γ was also associated with an increased expression of either MHC Class I or II by cytofluorometry, as reported by other groups. MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3, and NY-ESO-1-specific CTL were cultured from volunteer donors by stimulating peripheral blood mononuclear cells with dendritic cells pulsed with overlapping peptide mixes derived from full-length proteins, and these CTL preferentially lysed HLA partially matched, DAC-treated neuroblastoma and glioblastoma cell lines. These studies show that demethylating chemotherapy can be combined with IFN-γ to increase the expression of CT antigens and MHC molecules on neuroblastoma cells, and pre-treatment with these agents makes tumor cell lines more susceptible to CTL-mediated killing. These data provide a basis to consider the use of demethylating chemotherapy in neuroblastoma patients, in conjunction with immune therapies that facilitate the expansion of CT antigen-specific CTL.

Keywords

Cancer-testis antigensDecitabineInterferon-γNeuroblastomaMHC molecules

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011