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Tumour Antigens Recognised by T Lymphocytes

  1. Ken C Pang1,
  2. Benoît J Van den Eynde2,
  3. Pierre van der Bruggen2,
  4. Weisan Chen3

Published Online: 15 MAY 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0001431.pub3

eLS

eLS

How to Cite

Pang, K. C., Van den Eynde, B. J., van der Bruggen, P. and Chen, W. 2013. Tumour Antigens Recognised by T Lymphocytes. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Victoria, Australia

  2. 2

    Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium

  3. 3

    La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAY 2013

Abstract

Cancer cells bear markers (antigens) that identify them to the immune system. These antigens can be recognised by either cytotoxic or helper T lymphocytes, which can in turn produce a variety of anticancer effects, including direct lysis of tumour cells or indirect inhibition of tumour growth via the release of cytokines. Over the past two decades, the identity and structure of many different tumour antigens has been revealed via a range of different techniques. Some of these antigens are found only on tumour cells, whereas others can be found on both normal and cancerous tissues. Extensive efforts are currently underway to exploit this knowledge to develop effective therapeutic vaccines that elicit the immune system to eradicate cancer cells from the body.

Key Concepts:

  • Cancer cells bear markers (antigens) that identify them to the immune system.

  • Tumour antigens can be recognised by cytotoxic and helper T cells.

  • T cells can directly lyse tumour cells or inhibit tumour growth via cytokine release.

  • The identity and structure of many different tumour antigens are now known.

  • Tumour antigens can be classified into different groups based on their expression patterns.

  • Therapeutic vaccines that elicit the immune system to better recoginise tumour antigens have the potential to eradicate cancer cells from the body.

Keywords:

  • tumour antigens;
  • cytotoxic T lymphocytes;
  • helper T lymphocytes;
  • cancer vaccines