Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

IntroductionCancer-testis antigens (CTAGs) are expressed solely in germ cells and in malignant tissues. They are targets of immune responses mediated by cytotoxic T cells in some cancers, and there is much interest in developing vaccines that induce these responses. The purpose of the present study was to ascertain the frequency of expression of CTAGs in breast cancer.MethodsBreast tumours were collected sequentially in the Southampton Tumour Bank from donors who had given written informed consent. Stored samples where there was sufficient material were sampled in sequence. An initial series of 42 tumours was screened for expression of 17 different CTAGs. A second panel of 40 tumours was screened for the expression of those antigens present in the first panel.ResultsNinety-three per cent of tumours in the first series expressed at least one CTAG, and 62% expressed the single antigen CTAG1. Eighty per cent of tumours in the second series expressed at least one CTAG, 50% expressing CTAG1. Tumours exhibiting higher risk features tended to express more CTAGs.ConclusionMore than two-thirds of breast cancers would be covered by a vaccine directed against just three CTAGs - CTAG1, BAGE1, and MAGEA10 - all of which are known to be targets of cytotoxic-T-lymphocyte responses.

Original publication




Journal article


Breast cancer research : BCR

Publication Date





Cancer Research - UK Clinical Centre, University of Southampton, MP824, Southampton General Hospital, Tremona Road, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK.


Testis, T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic, Humans, Breast Neoplasms, Membrane Proteins, Cancer Vaccines, Antigens, Neoplasm, Vaccination, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Female, Male