International journal of cancer

A novel approach for identification of tumor-associated antigens expressed on the surface of tumor cells.

PMID 17163417


To improve tumor targeting in a subset of patients, where tumor cells do not express the well-known tumor antigens widely used in immunotherapy, we have developed a novel biotechnological tool. It is useful for tumors of various origins for the identification of tumor-associated proteins, which are differentially expressed in tumor cells with respect to normal tissue, and exposed on the cell surface. For this purpose, a combination of techniques, such as "suppression subtractive hybridization" and "transmembrane trapping," was employed. In applying this novel approach to breast cancer, we identified a large panel of cDNA fragments encoding for the well-known tumor-associated surface antigens, such as erb-B2, erbB3 and the urokinase receptor and, more importantly, for several clones overexpressed in breast cancer, whose cDNA fragments match the sequences of hypothetical transmembrane proteins with unknown function. The latter may represent novel tumor-specific targets.