NY-ESO-1: a promising cancer testis antigen for sarcoma immunotherapy and diagnosis
Sarcomas are heterogenous malignant mesenchymal neoplasms. These are often notoriously difficult to treat particularly in the metastatic setting. There is therefore an urgent need for development of better and more efficacious targeted therapies. Cancer testis antigens (CTAs) are a family of proteins in which aberrant gene-activation and subsequent high level mRNA expression, are restricted to testicular germ cells and are seen in certain malignancies. Importantly, the restriction of this class of antigens to testicular germ cells and malignancies and not somatic tissue, makes them an excellent choice for targeted immunotherapy. The NY-ESO-1is the most immunogenic of CTA and has, of late, become well-studied for its diagnosis and potential treatment implications in sarcomas. This paper reviews both the role of NY-ESO-1 in the diagnosis of sarcomas, as well as the implications of this CTA in vaccine development and treatment of sarcomas.