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Title: Expansion of anti-AFP Th1 and Tc1 responses in hepatocellular carcinoma occur in different stages of disease
Authors: Alisa, A
Boswell, S
Anastassiou, J
Pathan, AA
Williams, R
Keywords: AFP;HCC;Stage of disease;Okuda;Child-Pugh;IFN-gamma-producing cells
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Citation: British Journal of Cancer, 102, 748 - 753, 2010
Abstract: Background: α-Fetoprotein (AFP) is a tumour-associated antigen in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and is a target for immunotherapy. However, there is little information on the pattern of CD4 (Th1) and CD8 (Tc1) T-cell response to AFP in patients with HCC and their association with the clinical characteristics of patients. Methods: We therefore analysed CD4 and CD8 T-cell responses to a panel of AFP-derived peptides in a total of 31 HCC patients and 14 controls, using an intracellular cytokine assay for IFN-γ. Results: Anti-AFP Tc1 responses were detected in 28.5% of controls, as well as in 25% of HCC patients with Okuda I (early tumour stage) and in 31.6% of HCC patients with stage II or III (late tumour stages). An anti-AFP Th1 response was detected only in HCC patients (58.3% with Okuda stage I tumours and 15.8% with Okuda stage II or III tumours). Anti-AFP Th1 response was mainly detected in HCC patients who had normal or mildly elevated serum AFP concentrations (P=0.00188), whereas there was no significant difference between serum AFP concentrations in these patients and the presence of an anti-AFP Tc1 response. A Th1 response was detected in 44% of HCC patients with a Child–Pugh A score (early stage of cirrhosis), whereas this was detected in only 15% with a B or C score (late-stage cirrhosis). In contrast, a Tc1 response was detected in 17% of HCC patients with a Child–Pugh A score and in 46% with a B or C score. Conclusion: These results suggest that anti-AFP Th1 responses are more likely to be present in patients who are in an early stage of disease (for both tumour stage and liver cirrhosis), whereas anti-AFP Tc1 responses are more likely to be present in patients with late-stage liver cirrhosis. Therefore, these data provide valuable information for the design of vaccination strategies against HCC.
Description: Copyright @ 2010 Cancer Research UK. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit
ISSN: 0007-0920
Appears in Collections:Biological Sciences
Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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