NY-ESO-1 is a prototypic cancer/testis antigen. In a recent phase I clinical trial, we vaccinated 13 patients bearing NY-ESO-1-expressing tumors with a complex of cholesterol-bearing hydrophobized pullulan (CHP) and NY-ESO-1 protein (CHP-NY-ESO-1) and showed efficient induction of NY-ESO-1 antibody, and CD4 and CD8 T cell responses using peripheral blood from the patients. In our study, we analyzed heteroclitic serological responses in those patients after vaccination. Serological response against 11 tumor antigens including MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3, MAGE-A4, CT7/MAGEC1, CT10/MAGEC2, CT45, CT46/HORMAD1, SOX2, SSX2, XAGE1B and p53 was examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using sera from ten vaccinated patients. Expression of tumor antigens was determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction or immunohistochemistry. Eight of nine patients who showed antibody responses against NY-ESO-1 also showed an antibody response against at least 1 of these 11 tumor antigens after vaccination. In one patient, seven tumor antigens were recognized. Specificity analysis of the antibody response by ELISA using control recombinant proteins and synthetic peptides and by Western blot showed that the response was not against His6-tag and/or bacterial products included in a preparation of CHP-NY-ESO-1 used for vaccination. Thus, heteroclitic serological responses appear to be indicative of the overall immune response against the tumor, and their analysis could be useful for immune monitoring in cancer vaccine.
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