Our Science – Tsang Website
Kwong Yok Tsang, Ph.D.
The Cellular Immunology Group studies the role of the human immune response to tumor-associated antigens. We are working to define and develop immunodominant determinants and modifications of those determinants toward the optimal activation of human immune responses to tumor-associated antigens. Additionally, we are involved in studying mechanisms to enhance the potency of antigen-presenting cells for specific T cell activation. We are also developing immunologic methods and immunoassays to better define the efficacy of vaccine therapies for a range of human cancers.
Activation of Human T-cells in Vitro Directed Against Human TAA Epitopes. Studies are being conducted to identify epitopes of know human TAAs that have the ability to activate human T-cells in vitro. The sources of T-cells are (a) peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from naive, apparently healthy individuals, and (b) PBMC from patients with carcinoma, obtained both pre- and post-vaccination. Initial emphasis is being placed on the analysis of epitopes of three known TAAs: CEA, PSA, and muc-1. We have now identified immunodominant epitopes for each of these three TAAs that have been shown to activate human CD8+ T-cells in vitro, which in turn have the ability to lyse tumor cells expressing these TAA. Moreover, agonist epitopes have been identified for both CEA and PSA that have the ability to activate T-cells to greater levels than their native counterpart; these T-cells can in turn kill human tumor cells expressing the native epitope. Methods have also been developed in which the infection of a peptide-pulsed human APC with recombinant orthopox TRICOM vectors leads to greater activation of human T-cells than was capable with control peptide-pulse APC. Studies are planned to determine the interactions of enhanced levels of costimulatory molecule expression on different APC populations; studies are also planned to evaluate the consequence of different levels of peptide-based or vector-driven signal 1, and signal 2, on the activation of human naive and memory T-cells to known and putative tumor-associated epitopes.
For a list of publications from the Cellular Immunology Group, see 'Links'.
This page was last updated on 3/5/2013.