T-cells play an important role in in vivo tumor rejection in many animal tumor models and in human melanoma. Many human tumor antigens recognized by autologous T-cells have now been identified. These are found to be nonmutated and mutated peptides derived from various self proteins as well as viral proteins. A variety of mechanisms involved in generating these T-cell epitopes on growing cancers have also been identified. However, the role of these identified antigens remains to be evaluated. Passive or active immunotherapies using these identified tumor antigens are being conducted in many institutions. The results obtained from these clinical trials may give us better insight into the role of T-cell responses to each antigen in tumor rejection as well as the development of new antigen-specific immunotherapies for patients with cancer.
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