Identification and characterisation of tumour associated antigens is a pre-requisite for an effective and targeted immunotherapy. Tumour antigens are used as markers to improve diagnosis and to predict the outcome of a cancer. This review emphasises on a few important cellular target molecules such as indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), interleukin- 15 (IL15), mucin 1 (MUC1) and Major histocompatibility complex class I related chain A and B (MICA/B) which are involved in the downstream pathways of cancer progression. Unique aberrant and over-expression of these molecular targets modulates the physiological and immunological micro-environments in the host tissue. IDO, IL15 and MICA/B provoke NK cell and dendritic cell mediated anti-tumour responses due to their strong binding affinity to activator receptors on the immune cells. The application of these random markers derived from immunological mechanisms may help to improve and delineate some of the predictive indicators obtained with random serum profiles.
Keywords: IDO - Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase, MIC - Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I related chain A, ADCC, –, Antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity, AIDC, Activation induced cell death, MUC1, Mucin 1, TAA, Tumour associated antigen
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