Isolation of tyrosinase-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cell clones from the peripheral blood of melanoma patients following in vitro stimulation with recombinant vaccinia virus.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), Volume 157, Issue 9, p.4079-86 (1996)


Animals, Antigens, Neoplasm, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cercopithecus aethiops, Humans, MELANOMA, Monophenol Monooxygenase, Neoplasm Proteins, T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic, Vaccines, Synthetic, VACCINIA VIRUS


The identification of Ags expressed by tumor cells and recognized by autologous T cells has led to the prospect of treating cancer by adoptive transfer of tumor-reactive T cells selected for Ag specificity. Tyrosinase is an Ag expressed by normal melanocytes as well as melanoma cells for which responses by autologous T cells have been detected. To evaluate the frequency with which tyrosinase-specific T cells can be isolated from melanoma patients for potential use in therapy, a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing tyrosinase was constructed for infection of autologous APCs that could be used to stimulate T cells reactive with this protein. Eight patients were studied, with peripheral blood serving as the source of both responder T cells and autologous APCs. Tyrosinase-specific CD8+ CTL clones were isolated from five of the eight patients with melanoma. The tyrosinase-specific CTL generated in this manner recognized autologous tumor cells as well as targets expressing the recombinant virus vector. CTL clones from three of the individuals were restricted to HLA-A28, -B8, and -B60, which have not previously been identified as alleles that can present immunogenic tyrosinase peptides. Tyrosinase-specific CD4+ T cell clones were isolated from six of the eight patients by stimulation with autologous APCs infected with recombinant vaccinia virus, and all these CD4+ clones were capable of recognizing autologous tumor cells. These studies demonstrate a high prevalence of CD4+ and CD8+ tyrosinase-specific responses in peripheral blood and support the feasibility of using peripheral blood to generate T cells for tumor therapy without the requirement for isolating T cells that have infiltrated tumor sites.