Assessment of immunological competence and SV40 specific recall immunity in malignant pleural mesothelioma

Vaccine 23, no. 17-18 (2005): 2399-2402. [Link]

Bharat Jasani1, Sharon Coleman2, Eric Butchart3, Eve M-L Evans4, Malcolm Adams4, Malcolm Mason2, Allen Gibbs1 and Zsuzsanna Tabi2

  1. Department of Pathology, Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust and School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XN, UK
  2. Department of Oncology and Palliative Medicine, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Whitchurch, Cardiff, UK
  3. Department of Surgery, University Hospital Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, UK
  4. Velindre NHS Trust, Velindre Hospital, Whitchurch, Cardiff, UK


Diffuse malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is the third most common lung malignancy showing rising incidence with 250,000 deaths expected from it in Western Europe over the next 35 year. The tumour is generally resistant to conventional treatment and there is urgent need for novel preventative and therapeutic measures to combat this growing public threat. Finding of SV40 DNA sequences in a high proportion (40–90%) of several series of MPM cases, and suggestion of its potential co-carcinogen role provide a rationale for the development of novel anti-MPM vaccines incorporating SV40 gene sequences or antigenic determinants. As a prelude to adopting this approach, general T cell function was examined in relatively early cases of MPM presenting for biopsy or debulking surgery. CD8+ T cell responses were studied using antigenic epitopes of common viral antigens covering a broad range of haplotypes. 74.1% (20/27) of MPM patients and 80% (8/10) of the control subjects showed T cell responsiveness to the viral peptides mix, whilst a small proportion showed SV40 specific recall immunity.