Cancer/testis antigens can be immunological targets in clonogenic CD133+ melanoma cells Academic Article uri icon


  • "Cancer stem cells" that resist conventional treatments may be a cause of therapeutic failure in melanoma. We report a subpopulation of clonogenic melanoma cells that are characterized by high prominin-1/CD133 expression in melanoma and melanoma cell lines. These cells have enhanced clonogenicity and self-renewal in vitro, and serve as a limited in vitro model for melanoma stem cells. In some cases clonogenic CD133(+) melanoma cells show increased expression of some cancer/testis (CT) antigens. The expression of NY-ESO-1 in an HLA-A2 expressing cell line allowed CD133(+) clonogenic melanoma cells to be targeted for killing in vitro by NY-ESO-1-specific CD8(+) T-lymphocytes. Our in vitro findings raise the hypothesis that if melanoma stem cells express CT antigens in vivo that immune targeting of these antigens may be a viable clinical strategy for the adjuvant treatment of melanoma.


  • Gedye, Craig
  • Quirk, Juliet
  • Browning, Judy
  • Svobodov√°, Suzanne
  • John, Thomas
  • Sluka, Pavel
  • Dunbar, P Rod
  • Corbeil, Denis
  • Cebon, Jonathan
  • Davis, Ian D

publication date

  • October 2009

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