Cytolytic T-cell responses of cancer patients vaccinated with a MAGE antigen

Immunol Rev. 2002 Oct:188:33-42. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-065x.2002.18804.x.


'Cancer-germline' genes such as the MAGE gene family are expressed in many tumors and in male germline cells but not in normal tissues. They encode shared tumor-specific antigens, which have been used in therapeutic vaccination trials of metastatic melanoma patients. To establish whether there is a correlation between tumoral regressions and T-cell responses against the vaccine antigen, we evaluated the responses of patients vaccinated with a MAGE-3 antigenic peptide or a recombinant virus coding for the peptide. Blood lymphocytes were stimulated with antigenic peptide followed by detection with tetramer, T-cell cloning, and TCR analysis. In 4/9 regressor patients and in 1/14 progressors we found a low level, usually monoclonal cytolytic T lymphocyte response against the MAGE-3 peptide.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology*
  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Disease Progression
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Gene Rearrangement, T-Lymphocyte
  • Genetic Vectors / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Immunotherapy, Active*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Melanoma / immunology
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Melanoma / therapy*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Proteins / immunology*
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / genetics
  • Remission Induction
  • Skin Neoplasms / immunology
  • Skin Neoplasms / therapy
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccines, Subunit / immunology
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / immunology
  • Viral Vaccines


  • ALVAC vaccine
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • MAGEA3 protein, human
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta
  • Vaccines, Subunit
  • Vaccines, Synthetic
  • Viral Vaccines