The aim of the first part of the project is to obtain CTL clones specif for autologous human head and neck carcinoma. Thus tumor cell lines, transfected with the costimulatory molecule B7.1 and treated with IFN-* to augment their immunogenicity, will be used to stimulate autologous blood lymphocytes in the presence of different cytokines. A genetic approach will then be followed to isolate the gene encoding the antigen recognized by the CTL.
In the second part, we will try to identify antigenic peptides that are derived from proteins which are known to be selectively expressed in tumors. Peptides that are deduced from the gene sequence will be chosen on the basis of their ability to bind to a given HLA molecule. Dendritic cells pulsed with the best binding peptides will then be used to stimulate 'naive' T lymphocytes from normal individuals in order to generate CTL that recognize a defined peptide-MHC complex.