Cancer germline antigens and tumor-agnostic CD8+ T cell evasion

Dian Kortleve, Rui M.L. Coelho, Dora Hammerl, Reno Debets*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


Cancer germline antigens (CGAs) are expressed in immune-privileged germline tissues, while epigenetically silenced in somatic tissues. CGAs become re-expressed in tumors and can promote oncogenesis. Tumors prominently exploit mechanisms similar to those in germline tissues to shield from immunosurveillance. We hypothesize that CGAs contribute towards tumor escape from immune effector CD8+ T cells. For illustrative purposes, we assessed the co-presence or -absence of CGAs with these cells in multiple tumor types. Considering a broad array of CD8+ T cell evasive mechanisms, we exemplify the co-occurrence of gene transcripts of eight CGAs with those of adhesion molecules, endothelial cells, and/or the Wnt pathway. We present a novel concept of CGAs and their association with CD8+ T cell evasion, which may be relevant for future immunotherapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-403
Number of pages13
JournalTrends in Immunology
Issue number5
Early online date9 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: The results published here are in whole or part based upon data generated by the TCGA Research Network: No interests are declared.

Publisher Copyright: © 2022 The Authors


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