NY-ESO-1 may be a potential target for lung cancer immunotherapy

Cancer J Sci Am. Jan-Feb 1999;5(1):20-5.


Purpose: To evaluate the frequency of NY-ESO-1 expression in cultured lung cancer cells and to determine if this cancer-testis antigen can be presented for recognition by an HLA-restricted cytolytic T-cell clone specific for NY-ESO-1.

Methods and results: Reverse transcriptase and polymerase chain reaction amplification techniques were utilized to screen a panel of lung and esophageal cancer cell lines for expression of NY-ESO-1 encoding a recently identified cancer-testis antigen. NY-ESO-1 expression was detected in 11 of 16 small cell lung cancer lines, three of seven non-small cell lung cancer lines, and zero of 12 esophageal cancer lines. 5-Aza-2' -deoxycytidine induced expression of NY-ESO-1 in lung cancer cells. Expression of HLA-A31 by plasmid transfection or retroviral transduction enabled recognition of lung cancer cells by an HLA-A31-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocyte clone specific for NY-ESO-1.

Conclusions: NY-ESO-1 expression may be analogous to MAGE gene expression in lung cancer lines in terms of frequency and mechanism of transcriptional regulation. Furthermore, NY-ESO-1 can be presented on lung cancer cells for recognition by HLA-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Further investigation is warranted to determine if NY-ESO-1 can be exploited for the immunotherapy for lung cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm / biosynthesis*
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology*
  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / immunology*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / therapy
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / immunology
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / therapy
  • HLA-A Antigens / biosynthesis
  • HLA-A Antigens / genetics
  • HLA-A Antigens / immunology
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Membrane Proteins*
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • Proteins / immunology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • CTAG1B protein, human
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • HLA-A Antigens
  • HLA-A31 antigen
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Proteins