Although loss of HLA expression by malignant cells has also been demonstrated, it has not been clarified how the loss of HLA expression observed in vitro actually results in immune escape. We demonstrated two major findings: (i) a part of chromosome 6 coding for HLA haplotypes was deleted from the genome of chondrosarcoma cell line, OUMS-27; furthermore, immunohistostaining for HLA-A11 showed that the original chondrosarcoma tissue lost the expression of HLA-A11, implicating that HLA haplotype loss was already present in the original tumor tissue and (2) HLA class I-restricted and autologous tumor-specific cytotoxic T cells (CTL) were generated from peripheral blood lymphocytes of the patient with chondrosarcoma, from whom OUMS-27 originated. This CTL line was maintained by weekly stimulation with OUMS-27, and lysed OUMS-27 in an HLA-A24 dependent manner but did not either K562 or autologous (EBV)-transformed B cells. These observations indicated that OUMS-27 and its original tumor are still immunogenic and can present antigen peptides with the remaining HLA-A24, even if HLA expression is partially lost. Tumor specific immunotherapy can be applied to the treatment of malignancies, even if HLA expression is partially lost.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.