Phenotypic and functional maturation of tumor antigen-reactive cd8+ T Lymphocytes in Patients Undergoing Multiple Course Peptide Vaccination

Daniel J. Powell, Steven A. Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Successful immunotherapy with peptide vaccines depends on the in vivo generation of sufficient numbers of anti-tumor T cells with appropriate phenotypic and functional characteristics to mediate tumor destruction. Herein, we report the induction of high frequencies of circulating CD8+ T cells (4.8% to 38.1%) directed against the native gp100:209-217 peptide derived from the gp100 melanoma-melanocyte tumor antigen in five HLA-A*0201 patients at high risk of recurrence of melanoma after multiple courses of immunization with modified gp100:209-217(210M) peptide in IFA. Longitudinal peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) analysis revealed a phenotypic shift of native peptide-specific CD8+ T cells from an early effector to an effector memory (CD27 CD28 CD62L CD45RO+) phenotype with repeated immunizations and functional maturation that correlated with gp100:209-217 peptide-specific T-cell precursor frequencies. Postimmunization PBMC exhibited direct ex vivo recognition of melanoma cell lines in ELISPOT analysis, showed lytic capability against peptide-pulsed target cells, and proliferated in response to native peptide stimulation. One year after final immunization, circulating vaccine-specific CD8+ T cells persisted in patients' PBMC with a maintained effector memory phenotype. The results herein demonstrate the efficacy of a multiple course peptide-immunization strategy for the generation of high frequencies of tumor antigen-specific T cells in vivo, and further show that continued peptide immunization results in the escalating generation of functionally mature, tumor-reactive effector memory CD8+ T lymphocytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-47
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Immunotherapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Differentiation
  • Human antigen/peptide/epitope
  • T lymphocytes
  • Tumor immunity
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Phenotypic and functional maturation of tumor antigen-reactive cd8+ T Lymphocytes in Patients Undergoing Multiple Course Peptide Vaccination'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this