Both cellular and humoral immune responses are crucial to induce potent anti-tumor immunity, but most of currently conducted peptide-based cancer vaccines paid attention to cellular responses alone, and none of them are yet approved as a therapeutic modality against cancer patients. We investigated humoral immune responses to CTL epitope peptides derived from tumor-associated antigens in healthy donors and patients with various diseases to facilitate better understanding of their distribution patterns and potential roles. Bead-based multiplex assay, ELISA, and Western blotting were used to measure immunoglobulins reactive to each of 31 different CTL epitope peptides. Importantly, the sums of anti-peptide IgG levels specific to 31 CTL epitope peptides were well correlated with better overall survival (OS) in patients with malignant diseases. Our results suggested that humoral immune responses to CTL epitope peptides were widely detectable in humans. Measurement of immunoglobulins specific to CTL epitope peptides may provide a new biomarker for OS of patients with malignant diseases, although it still remains to be determined whether the correlations between humoral immune responses to epitope peptides and OS are observed only for the CTL epitopes used, or also for other panels of peptides. Quantity of circulating IgG reactive to these peptides was also discussed.
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