Chapter

Programming the immune system through childhood infections: MUC1 tumor-associated antigen (TAA) as a disease-associated antigen (DAA)

Uzoma K Iheagwara, Pamela L Beatty, Bianca Su-Wan Chan, Lora H Rigatti, Ted Ross and Olivera J Finn

in Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2014 | ISBN: 9780199676866
Published online July 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780191756245 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199676866.003.0018
Programming the immune system through childhood infections: MUC1 tumor-associated antigen (TAA) as a disease-associated antigen (DAA)

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There is ample evidence that the immune system recognizes cancer as abnormal and halts tumor growth or eliminates tumors through recognition of tumor antigens, abnormally expressed self-molecules. MUC1 tumor antigen is abnormally expressed on mouse tumors and in different human cancers. The same abnormal expression (overexpression, hypoglycosylation, loss of polarization) of MUC1 is found in non-malignant conditions, such as viral and bacterial infections and chronic inflammation. Epidemiological studies that identify cancer risk have demonstrated that a history of febrile childhood diseases lowers life-time risk for a variety of cancers. We propose that these diseases enhance cancer immunosurveillance through generating immune responses and immune memory for abnormally expressed self-antigens. MUC1 transgenic mice infected with influenza virus transiently express abnormal MUC1 in their lungs and develop immune responses and immune memory. When challenged with a MUC1+ tumor, influenza-experienced mice control MUC1+ tumor much better than influenza naïve mice.

Chapter.  6692 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Immunology ; Radiation Oncology

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