NY-ESO-1 may be a potential target for lung cancer immunotherapy

Li Lee, Rong Fu Wang, Xiang Wang, Arnold Mixon, Bruce E. Johnson, Steven A. Rosenberg, David S. Schrump

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


PURPOSE: To evaluate the frequency of NY-ESO-1 expression in cultured lung cancer cells and to determine if this cancer-testis antigen can be presented for recognition by an HLA-restricted cytolytic T-cell clone specific for NY-ESO-1. METHODS AND RESULTS: Reverse transcriptase and polymerase chain reaction amplification techniques were utilized to screen a panel of lung and esophageal cancer cell lines for expression of NY-ESO-1 encoding a recently identified cancer-testis antigen. NY-ESO-1 expression was detected in 11 of 16 small cell lung cancer lines, three of seven non-small cell lung cancer lines, and zero of 12 esophageal cancer lines. 5-Aza-2'- deoxycytidine induced expression of NY-ESO-1 in lung cancer cells. Expression of HLA-A31 by plasmid transfection or retroviral transduction enabled recognition of lung cancer cells by an HLA-A31-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocyte done specific for NY-ESO-1. CONCLUSIONS: NY-ESO-1 expression may be analogous to MAGE gene expression in lung cancer lines in terms of frequency and mechanism of transcriptional regulation. Furthermore, NY-ESO-1 can be presented on lung cancer cells for recognition by HLA-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Further investigation is warranted to determine if NY-ESO-1 can be exploited for the immunotherapy for lung cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-25
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Journal from Scientific American
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes



  • 5- aza-2'-deoxycytidine
  • Demethylation
  • Lung cancer
  • NY-ESO-1
  • Tumor antigen
  • Tumor immunology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Cite this

Lee, L., Wang, R. F., Wang, X., Mixon, A., Johnson, B. E., Rosenberg, S. A., & Schrump, D. S. (1999). NY-ESO-1 may be a potential target for lung cancer immunotherapy. Cancer Journal from Scientific American, 5(1), 20-25.