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The evaluation of antitumor immune responses is essential for immune monitoring to predict clinical outcomes as well as treatment efficacies in cancer patients. In this study, we produced two tumor antigen (TA) proteins, melanoma antigen family A4 and wild type p53, using TG silkworm systems and evaluated anti-TA-specific immune responses by enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assays in patients with head and neck cancer. Eleven (61.1%) of 18 patients showed significant IFN-γ production in response to at least one TA; however, the presence of TA-specific immune responses did not significantly contribute to better prognosis (overall survival, p = 0.1768; progression-free survival, p = 0.4507). Further studies will need to be performed on a larger scale to better assess the clinical significance of these systems. The production of multiple TA proteins may provide new avenues for the development of immunotherapeutic strategies to stimulate a potent and specific immune response against tumor cells as well as precise assessment of antitumor immune responses in cancer patients.


Kanae Yamada, Kei Masuda, Shota Ida, Hiroe Tada, Minori Bando, Kanako Abe, Ken-Ichiro Tatematsu, Hideki Sezutsu, Tetsunari Oyama, Kazuaki Chikamatsu, Shigeki Takeda. In vitro assessment of antitumor immune responses using tumor antigen proteins produced by transgenic silkworms. Journal of materials science. Materials in medicine. 2021 May 17;32(6):58

PMID: 33999320

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