Immunogenicity of a long 20-mer NY-ESO-1f peptide vaccine was evaluated in a lung cancer patient TK-f01, immunized with the peptide with Picibanil OK-432 and Montanide ISA-51. We showed that internalization of the peptide was necessary to present CD8 T-cell epitopes on APC, contrasting with the direct presentation of the short epitope. CD8 T-cell responses restricted to all five HLA class I alleles were induced in the patient after the peptide vaccination. Clonal analysis showed that B*35:01 and B*52:01-restricted CD8 T-cell responses were the two dominant responses. The minimal epitopes recognized by A*24:02, B*35:01, B*52:01 and C*12:02-restricted CD8 T-cell clones were defined and peptide/HLA tetramers were produced. NY-ESO-1 91-101 on A*24:02, NY-ESO-1 92-102 on B*35:01, NY-ESO-1 96-104 on B*52:01 and NY-ESO-1 96-104 on C*12:02 were new epitopes first defined in this study. Identification of the A*24:02 epitope is highly relevant for studying the Japanese population because of its high expression frequency (60%). High affinity CD8 T-cells recognizing tumor cells naturally expressing the epitopes and matched HLA were induced at a significant level. The findings suggest the usefulness of a long 20-mer NY-ESO-1f peptide harboring multiple CD8 T-cell epitopes as an NY-ESO-1 vaccine. Characterization of CD8 T-cell responses in immunomonitoring using peptide/HLA tetramers revealed that multiple CD8 T-cell responses comprised the dominant response.
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