Enhancing antitumor immune responses: intracellular peptide delivery and identification of MHC class II-restricted tumor antigens

Immunol Rev. 2002 Oct;188:65-80. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-065x.2002.18807.x.


The importance of T-cell-mediated antitumor immunity has been demonstrated in both animal models and human cancer therapy. The identification of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I-restricted tumor antigens has generated a resurgence of interest in immunotherapy for cancer. However, recent studies suggest that therapeutic strategies that have mainly focused on the use of CD8+ T cells (and MHC class I-restricted tumor antigens) may not be effective in eliminating cancer cells in patients. Novel strategies have been developed for enhancing T-cell responses against cancer by prolonging antigen presentation of dendritic cells to T cells and the inclusion of MHC class II-restricted tumor antigens. identification of MHC class II-restricted tumor antigens, which are capable of stimulating CD4+ T cells, not only aids our understanding of the host immune responses against cancer antigens, but also provides opportunities for developing effective cancer vaccines.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation*
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / administration & dosage
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology*
  • Apc3 Subunit, Anaphase-Promoting Complex-Cyclosome
  • Base Sequence
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cancer Vaccines / pharmacokinetics*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / immunology
  • Cell Membrane Permeability
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / immunology
  • Lung Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy
  • Melanoma, Experimental / immunology
  • Melanoma, Experimental / secondary
  • Melanoma, Experimental / therapy
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptide Fragments / administration & dosage
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology
  • Peptide Fragments / pharmacokinetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*
  • Transfection


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Apc3 Subunit, Anaphase-Promoting Complex-Cyclosome
  • CDC27 protein, human
  • Cancer Vaccines
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins