Humoral epitope-spreading following immunization with a HER-2/neu peptide based vaccine in cancer patients

J Clin Immunol. 2004 Sep;24(5):571-8. doi: 10.1023/B:JOCI.0000040928.67495.52.


HER-2/neu is a tumor antigen in patients with breast and ovarian cancer. Multiple varieties of vaccine strategies are being developed to immunize patients against HER-2/neu. Studies in animal models have demonstrated both T cell and antibody immunity are needed to mediate an antitumor response. Thirty-five patients, immunized with HER-2/neu peptide based vaccines, were evaluated for the generation of HER-2/neu-specific antibody immunity. Sixty percent of patients developed HER-2/neu IgG specific antibody responses to at least one peptide included in their vaccine. Twenty-nine percent of patients developed IgG immunity to the native HER-2/neu protein after peptide immunization. Humoral intramolecular epitope-spreading within the HER-2/neu protein occurred in 49% of immunized patients. Intermolecular epitope-spreading to p53 was evident in 20% of vaccinated patients. Of those patients who developed new immunity to p53, 71% had demonstrated antibody epitope-spreading within HER-2/neu.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies / immunology
  • Epitopes / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology*
  • Peptide Fragments / therapeutic use
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / immunology*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / immunology
  • Vaccines / immunology*
  • Vaccines / therapeutic use


  • Antibodies
  • Epitopes
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Vaccines
  • Receptor, ErbB-2