Antigens Expressed by Melanoma and Melanocytes
Serological studies with human sera and monoclonal antibodies have identified a large number of distinct antigen systems on melanoma cells. A major focus of the mapping of these antigens has been the identification of determinants that can serve as targets for recognition by the host. In the course of these studies, more has been revealed about the antigenic profile of normal cells than about specific antigenic changes that occur during the process of malignant transformation. The cell components that have been best characterized are differentiation antigens. The investigation of these antigens on melanoma cells has provided considerable information about antigenic changes occurring during normal differentiation of the normal cell counterpart, the melanocyte. The search continues for molecules that are expressed specifically during events of malignant transformation and tumor progression. Three categories of antigens on melanoma cells have been identified: (1) differentiation antigens; (2) antigens expressed during transformation; and (3) antigens that serve as targets for the immune system in the host with cancer. In this chapter, we discuss our recent studies, rather than review the substantial amount of information that has been published about melanoma antigens.
KeywordsToxicity Albumin Carbohydrate Recombination Sarcoma
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