Directions in the immune targeting of cancer: Lessons learned from the cancer-testis Ag NY-ESO-1

Theo Nicholaou, Lisa Ebert, Ian D. Davis, Neil Robson, Oliver Klein, Eugene Maraskovsky, Weisan Chen, Jonathan Cebon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)


Since the early 1990s, numerous cancer Ag have been defined and for a handful of these there is now some clinical experience, which has made it possible to assess their value as targets for cancer immunotherapy. The cancer-testis Ag have been particularly attractive because their expression is limited to cancer and virtually no non-malignant cells apart from germ cells and trophoblast. Among these, NY-ESO-1 has been the focus of our attention. The exceptional immunogenicity of this Ag coupled with its widespread distribution among many cancer types make it a very good vaccine candidate, with the potential to be used in vaccines against many types of malignancies. This article reviews emerging knowledge about the biology of NY-ESO-1 and experience with the early clinical development of vaccines directed against NY-ESO-1. These early studies have yielded a wealth of information about the immunology of NY-ESO-1 and set the scene for future clinical strategies for immune targeting of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-317
Number of pages15
JournalImmunology and Cell Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2006


  • Cancer immunology
  • Cancer vaccine
  • Cancer-testis Ag
  • Dendritic cell
  • NY-ESO-1

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