Tumor-associated antigens (TAA) are mostly restricted to tumor cells, whereas tumor-specific antigens (TSA) occur exclusively on tumor cells. TSA and TAA are typically parts of intracellular molecules (MHC) are presented on the cell surface as part of the major histocompatibility complex.

Many tumor cells produce antigens that are released either into the bloodstream or remain on the cell surface. Antigens were found in most human tumors (eg. As Burkitt’s lymphoma, neuroblastoma, malignant melanoma, osteosarcoma, renal cell carcinoma, as well as breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers). A key task of the immune system is to identify these antigens in order to subsequently allow the destruction of the tumor. Despite their foreign structures the immune response varied from tumors and is often insufficient to prevent tumor growth. Tumor-associated antigens (TAA) are mostly restricted to tumor cells, whereas tumor-specific antigens (TSA) occur exclusively on tumor cells. TSA and TAA are typically parts of intracellular molecules (MHC) are presented on the cell surface as part of the major histocompatibility complex. The following hypotheses on the origin of tumor antigens insertion of new genetic information by a virus (eg. As E6 and E7 proteins of human papillomavirus in cervical cancer) alteration of oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes by carcinogens which lead to the formation of neoantigens (novel protein sequences or accumulation of proteins that are normally expressed or only in very small amounts, such as ras, p53), either by direct generation of new protein sequences or by inducing accumulation of these proteins) missense mutations in different genes that are not directly related to tumor suppressors or oncogenes are in communication, and the occurrence of tumor-specific neoantigens at the cell surface cause abnormal high accumulation of proteins that are normally present in much smaller quantities (eg. B. prostate-specific antigens, mel anomassoziierte antigens) or which are only expressed during embryonic development, carcinoembryonic antigens so-called (CEA) exposure of antigens that are normally hidden in the cell membrane by defective Membranhom√∂ostase in tumor cells release antigens which are normally in the cell or its organelles be degraded when the neoplastic cell dies

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