Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Tumor Antigens

  • Roberto Bei
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_6015-8


Tumor antigens (TAs) are antigens recognized by specific immune effector cells and/or antibodies and differentially expressed (qualitatively and/or quantitatively) in the tumor tissue as compared to the normal counterpart tissue.


Tumor Antigens Classification, Expression, and Immune Response

TAs can be divided into tumor-specific antigens (TSAs) that are unique antigens expressed by tumor cells and not by normal cells and tumor-associated antigens (TAAs), which are also expressed by normal cells although at lower levels than in tumor cells (see also Yang and Yang 2005).

TAs include mutated antigens, oncofetal antigens ( OFs), cancertestis antigens ( CTs), aberrantly glycosylated and expressed antigens, tissue-lineage antigens, overexpressed antigens, and virally encoded antigens. Classification and examples of tumor antigens are shown in Table 1 (see also Khodadoust and Alizadeh 2014).
Table 1

Classification and examples of tumor antigens

Antigen group




Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma Patient Modify Vaccinia Ankara 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical Sciences and Translational Medicine, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Rome “Tor Vergata”RomeItaly