Identification of HER2/neu-derived peptides capable of inducing both cellular and humoral immune responses in HLA-A24 positive breast cancer patients

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Abstract

Summary

HRE2/neu-specific cellular and humoral immune responses are often detected in breast cancer patients, but identification of more immunogenic CTL epitope peptides is necessary prior to development of a cancer vaccine. There is accumulating evidence of strong immunogenicity of peptides capable of inducing both cellular and humoral immune responses. To identify such peptides, this study intended to determine HER2/neu-derived peptides capable of inducing both cellular and humoral immunity in HLA-A24+ breast cancer patients. IgGs reactive to the HER2342-350, HER2485-493, and HER2553-561 peptides were detected in the sera of these patients with the frequency of 47, 24, and 24%, respectively. These peptides also induced peptide-specific and tumor-reactive CTL activity in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of HLA-A24+ breast cancer patients with the frequency of 50, 63, and 25%, respectively, but such activity was not induced from any HLA-A24− patients. Cellular and humoral responses to each of these three peptides were also observed in PBMCs and sera from the other epithelial cancer patients. These results may provide a scientific basis for new clinical trials of HER2/neu-peptide-based immunotherapy for breast cancer and also other epithelial cancer patients.

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