Strategy for monitoring T cell responses to NY-ESO-1 in patients with any HLA class I allele
Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
NY-ESO-1 elicits frequent antibody responses in cancer patients, accompanied by strong CD8(+) T cell responses against HLA-A2-restricted epitopes. To broaden the range of cancer patients who can be assessed for immunity to NY-ESO-1, a general method was devised to detect T cell reactivity independent of prior characterization of epitopes. A recombinant adenoviral vector encoding the full cDNA sequence of NY-ESO-1 was used to transduce CD8-depleted peripheral blood lymphocytes as antigen-presenting cells. These modified antigen-presenting cells were then used to restimulate memory effector cells against NY-ESO-1 from the peripheral blood of cancer patients. Specific CD8(+) T cells thus sensitized were assayed on autologous B cell targets infected with a recombinant vaccinia virus encoding NY-ESO-1. Strong polyclonal responses were observed against NY-ESO-1 in antibody-positive patients, regardless of their HLA profile. Because the vectors do not cross-react immunologically, only responses to NY-ESO-1 were detected. The approach described here allows monitoring of CD8(+) T cell responses to NY-ESO-1 in the context of various HLA alleles and has led to the definition of NY-ESO-1 peptides presented by HLA-Cw3 and HLA-Cw6 molecules.