A phenotype based approach for the immune monitoring of NY-ESO-1-specific CD4+ T cell responses in cancer patients

Maha Ayyoub, Naira E. Souleimanian, Emmanuelle Godefroy, Luigi Scotto, Charles S. Hesdorffer, Lloyd J. Old, Danila Valmori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Because of its frequent expression in tumors and spontaneous immunogenicity in advanced cancer patients, NY-ESO-1 is presently viewed as a prototype tumor antigen for the development of cancer vaccines. A prerequisite for the analysis of NY-ESO-1-specific T cell responses in vaccinated patients is the assessment of the complete T cell repertoire available for the antigen. Here, we have assessed frequency and fine specificity of CD4+ T cells reactive against NY-ESO-1-derived sequences in circulating lymphocytes from cancer patients with spontaneous responses to the antigen. We found that, relative to healthy donors, this frequency was only moderately increased in cancer patients. The reactivity of these cells, however, was directed against the same immunodominant regions previously identified for healthy donors. On account of these data, we developed an approach for the immune monitoring of NY-ESO-1-specific CD4+ T cell responses based on the assessment of CD4+ T cell populations of defined phenotype. Using this approach, a similar frequency of NY-ESO-1-specific CD4+ T cells was found among naive T cells of healthy donors and cancer patients. In contrast, among antigen-experienced T cells, NY-ESO-1-specific CD4+ T cells were exclusively detectable in cancer patients. We anticipate that this phenotype-based approach will be useful for the immune monitoring of vaccine-induced responses in vaccination trials using NY-ESO-1 as well as other tumor antigens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-194
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Immunology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • CD4 T cells
  • Human
  • T cell epitopes
  • Tumor immunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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