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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 871936, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/871936
Review Article

MUC1-Specific Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes in Cancer Therapy: Induction and Challenge

1UMR892, INSERM, Institut de Recherche Thérapeutique, Université de Nantes, 8 quai Moncousu, BP70721, 44007 Nantes Cedex 1, France
2CNRS, UMR6299, Institut de Recherche Thérapeutique, Université de Nantes, 8 quai Moncousu, BP70721, 44007 Nantes Cedex 1, France
3Faculté de Médecine, Université de Nantes, 44035 Nantes Cedex 1, France

Received 18 May 2012; Accepted 6 July 2012

Academic Editor: Julie Curtsinger

Copyright © 2013 David Roulois et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

MUC1 glycoprotein is often found overexpressed and hypoglycosylated in tumor cells from numerous cancer types. Since its discovery MUC1 has been an attractive target for antitumor immunotherapy. Indeed, in vitro and in vivo experiments have shown T-cell-specific responses against MUC1 in an HLA-restricted and HLA-unrestricted manner, although some animal models have highlighted the possible development of tolerogenic responses against this antigen. These observations permit the development of new T-cell vaccine strategies capable of inducing an MUC1-specific cytotoxic T cell response in cancer patients. Some of these strategies are now being tested in clinical trials against different types of cancer. To date, encouraging clinical responses have been observed with some MUC1 vaccines in phase II/III clinical trials. This paper compiles knowledge regarding MUC1 as a promising tumor antigen for antitumor therapeutic vaccines applicable to numerous cancers. We also summarize the results of MUC1-vaccine-based clinical trials.