Identification of tumor antigens as potential target antigens for immunotherapy by serological expression cloning

Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2004 Mar;53(3):144-7. doi: 10.1007/s00262-003-0470-z. Epub 2004 Jan 15.


The presence of tumor infiltrating T cells has been shown to be associated with a favorable prognosis in different tumor types. Several strategies have been developed to identify relevant tumor antigens which can be used for active immunotherapy strategies. The SEREX technique (serological analysis of cDNA expression libraries) identifies tumor antigens based on a spontaneous humoral immune response in cancer patients. This technique is not limited to tumor types that can be grown in cell culture or depends on established T cell clones recognizing the autologous tumor. Several steps of analysis are mandatory to evaluate SEREX-defined antigens before they become new target antigens for active immunotherapy: expression analysis; serological analysis with sera from tumor patients and normal individuals; identification of potential peptide epitopes for CD8 T cells and evaluation in T cell assays. This article summarizes our approach of antigen identification and evaluation giving the example of the recently cloned breast cancer antigen NY-BR-1.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm / analysis*
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Gene Library
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Active*
  • Recombinant Proteins / immunology


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Recombinant Proteins