HLA Class II Antigen Presentation in Prostate Cancer Cells: A Novel Approach to Prostate Tumor Immunotherapy

Bently Patrick Doonan, Azizul Haque*
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical University of South Carolina, 173 Ashley Avenue, BSB-201, Charleston, SC 29425, USA

© 2010 Doonan and Haque et al.;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical University of South Carolina, 173 Ashley Avenue,BSB-201, Charleston, SC 29425, USA; Tel: 843-792-9466; Fax: 843-792-2464; E-mail:


Prostate cancer is a deadly disease that is in drastic need of new treatment strategies for late stage and metastatic prostate cancer. Immunotherapy has emerged as a viable option to fill this void. Clinical trials have been conducted that induce tumor clearance through cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activation, these studies have had mixed outcomes with the overlying problem being the lack of a complete immune response with sustained killing and the formation of tumor specific memory cells. To overcome this, we have outlined the need for activating the HLA class II pathway in inducing a sustained CD8+ T cell response and the development of effective memory. We have also discussed the ability of prostate cancer cells to express stable HLA class II molecules that can be manipulated for tumor antigen (Ag) processing and presentation. This review also sets to outline new directions that exist for the use of class II-restricted Ags/peptides in devising cancer vaccines as well as combined chemoimmunotherapy. A better understanding of these concepts will improve future cancer vaccine studies and further the field of cancer immunobiology

Keywords: Prostate Cancer, HLA Class II Proteins, Hormones, GILT, Antigen Processing and Presentation, CD4+ T Cells.