Relapse or eradication of cancer is predicted by peptide-major histocompatibility complex affinity

Cancer Cell. 2013 Apr 15;23(4):516-26. doi: 10.1016/j.ccr.2013.03.018.


Cancers often relapse after adoptive therapy, even though specific T cells kill cells from the same cancer efficiently in vitro. We found that tumor eradication by T cells required high affinities of the targeted peptides for major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I. Affinities of at least 10 nM were required for relapse-free regression. Only high-affinity peptide-MHC interactions led to efficient cross-presentation of antigen, thereby stimulating cognate T cells to secrete cytokines. These findings highlight the importance of targeting peptides with high affinity for MHC class I when designing T cell-based immunotherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cross-Priming
  • HLA-A2 Antigen / immunology*
  • HLA-D Antigens / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / methods*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Oligopeptides / immunology
  • Recurrence
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • HLA-A2 Antigen
  • HLA-D Antigens
  • Oligopeptides