Recognition of Breast Cancer Cells by CD8+ Cytotoxic Clones Specific for NY-BR-1

Original Articles
Cancer Research 66(13): 6826-33, 2006
Wang W, Epler J, Salazar LG, and Riddell SR
Description / Abstract: 

Immunotherapy for breast cancer using cytotoxic T cells (CTL) is hindered by the lack of well-characterized breast cancer antigens that are expressed in most breast tumor cells and recognized by CD8+ CTL. A recently described breast tissue differentiation antigen, NY-BR-1, is expressed in >80% breast tumors and elicits a humoral response in a subset of breast cancer patients. To identify potential NY-BR-1 epitopes that are recognized by CTL, CD8+ T cells were stimulated in vitro with autologous dendritic cells pulsed with NY-BR-1 peptides that were predicted to bind to HLA-A2. In multiple normal female donors and breast cancer patients, specific CD8+ CTL responses were detected by enzyme-linked immunospot assay against several NY-BR-1 peptides after two cycles of stimulation. CD8+ CTL clones against three NY-BR-1 epitopes were isolated and recognized peptide-pulsed target cells with high avidity. T-cell clones specific for one of the NY-BR-1 epitopes (p904) also recognized breast tumor cells expressing NY-BR-1, NY-BR-1(-) cells transfected with a cDNA encoding the NY-BR-1 protein, and autologous dendritic cells pulsed with opsonized NY-BR-1+ breast tumor cells. Taken together, these results show that the p904 epitope derived from NY-BR-1 is efficiently processed and presented endogenously and identify NY-BR-1 as a promising target for T-cell-based immunotherapy for breast cancer.

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