Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy

, Volume 58, Issue 11, pp 1819–1830 | Cite as

Characterization of tumor antigen peptide-specific T cells isolated from the neoplastic tissue of patients with gastric adenocarcinoma

  • Amedeo Amedei
  • Elena Niccolai
  • Chiara Della Bella
  • Fabio Cianchi
  • Giacomo Trallori
  • Marisa Benagiano
  • Lapo Bencini
  • Marco Bernini
  • Marco Farsi
  • Renato Moretti
  • Gianfranco Del Prete
  • Mario Milco D’Elios
Original article


Gastric cancer is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Surgical resection remains the primary curative treatment for gastric adenocarcinoma, but the poor (15–35%) survival rate at 5 years has prompted many studies for new therapeutic strategies, such as specific immunotherapy. The aim of this study was to analyze the functional properties of the T cell response to different antigen peptides related to gastric cancer in patients with gastric adenocarcinoma. To this purpose, we have cloned and characterized tumor-infiltrating T cells (TILs) isolated from the neoplastic gastric tissue samples. A T cell response specific to different peptides of gastric cancer antigens tested was documented in 17 out of 20 patients, selected for their HLA-A02 and/or -A24 alleles. Most of the cancer peptide-specific TILs expressed a Th1/Tc1 profile and cytotoxic activity against target cells. The effector functions of cancer peptide-specific T cells obtained from the peripheral blood of the same patients were also studied. The majority of peripheral blood peptide-specific T cells also expressed the Th1/Tc1 functional profile. In conclusion, in most of the patients with gastric adenocarcinoma, a specific type-1 T cell response to gastric cancer antigens was detectable and would have the potential of hamper tumor cell growth. However, in order to get tumor cell killing in vivo, the activity and the number of cancer peptide-specific Th1/Tc1 cells probably need to be enhanced by vaccination with the appropriate cancer antigenic peptides or by injection of the autologus tumor peptide-specific T cells expanded in vitro.


Gastric adenocarcinoma Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes Th1/Tc1 Gastric cancer antigen-associated peptides 



Gastric cancer antigen-associated peptides


Peripheral blood mononuclear cells

Th1 and Th0

Type 1 and type 0 helper CD4 + T cells

Tc1 and Tc0

Type 1 and type 0 cytotoxic CD8 + T cells


Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes



We wish to thank Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze and Italian Ministry of University and Research for their support of our studies.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amedeo Amedei
    • 1
    • 2
  • Elena Niccolai
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chiara Della Bella
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fabio Cianchi
    • 3
  • Giacomo Trallori
    • 4
  • Marisa Benagiano
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lapo Bencini
    • 5
  • Marco Bernini
    • 5
  • Marco Farsi
    • 5
  • Renato Moretti
    • 5
  • Gianfranco Del Prete
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mario Milco D’Elios
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Department of BiomedicineAzienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Careggi (AOUC)FlorenceItaly
  3. 3.Department of Medical and Surgical Critical CareUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  4. 4.Gastroenterology UnitAOUCFlorenceItaly
  5. 5.Division of General and Oncologic Surgery, Department of OncologyAOUCFlorenceItaly

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