Donor-derived cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) that respond to tumor antigens emerge after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), particularly in association with the status of immune recovery. To analyze the frequency of CTL against PR1, PRAME and WT1 after HSCT, a tetramer-based analysis was performed in 97 samples taken from 35 patients (9 AML, 11 MDS, 2 CML, 4 ALL, 7 lymphoma and 2 renal cell carcinoma [RCC]) with the HLA-A02 phenotype. Regarding PR1, only 1 sample showed the presence of tetramer-positive cells (0.04%/lymphocyte). Similarly, in PRAME, only 10 of 97 samples were sporadically positive with low titers. For WT1, positive results were detected in 39 of 97 samples and 7 (2 CML, 1 ALL, 2 lymphoma and 2 RCC) patients clearly showed positive results more than once. On the basis of these results, we performed serial analyses of WT1-specific CTL during the clinical course in 2 patients with RCC, who underwent HSCT with a reduced-intensity regimen, to examine the precise correlation between the kinetics of CTL, the occurrence of GVHD and the observed clinical response. A higher positive rate for WT1-speciflc CTL and a correlation with the clinical response suggest that WT1 may be a useful antigen for a wider monitoring application.
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