Previous studies have characterized the reactivity of CD8+ CTLs with ovarian and breast cancer. There is little information about the antigens and epitopes recognized by CD4+ T cells in these patients. In this study, we analyzed the ability of T cells from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of breast cancer patients to recognize HER-2/neu (HER-2) peptides. We found that 13 of 18 patients responded by proliferation to at least one of the HER-2 peptides tested. Of these peptides, one designated G89 (HER-2: 777-789) was recognized by T cells from 10 patients. Seven of nine responding patients were HLA-DR4+, suggesting that this peptide is recognized preferentially in association with HLA-DR4. Analysis of the specificity and restriction of the cytokine responses to G89 by G89-stimulated T cells revealed that these cells secreted significantly higher levels of IFN-γ than interleukin 4 and interleukin 10, suggesting priming for a Th0-T helper 1 response. The same pattern of cytokine responses was observed to the intracellular domain of HER-2 protein, suggesting that G89-stimulated T cells recognized epitopes of the HER-2 protein in association with HLA-DR4. Because HLA-DR4 is present in 25% of humans, characterization of MHC class H-restricted epitopes inducing Th0-T helper 1 responses may provide a basis for the development of multivalent HER-2-based vaccines against breast and ovarian cancer.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Clinical Cancer Research|
|State||Published - Aug 1998|
Copyright 2007 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.