Cancer testes antigens in breast cancer: Biological role, regulation, and therapeutic applicability

Apurva Pandey, Abhishek Kurup, Arpan Shrivastava, Saba Radhi, Diane D. Nguyen, Candy Arentz, Nicholas D'Chuna, Fred Hardwick, Martin J. D'Souza, Marjorie Jenkins, Fabio Grizzi, W. Martin Kast, Everardo Cobos, Rakhshanda Rahman, Maurizio Chiriva-Internati, Raffaella Chiaramonte, Natalia Platonova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Breast cancer remains one of the leading causes of death among women across the world. The last few decades have seen significant reduction in mortality owing to earlier detection and better adjuvant treatments that were developed based on clinical staging and morphological features. As these treatments have evolved, the heterogeneity of breast cancer poses a new challenge, since there is no standard gold-therapy suitable for all tumors of the mammary gland. Therefore, contemporary management and research efforts are directed toward specific prognostic and predictive molecular signatures that can guide targeted individualized therapy. The goal of ongoing research in this field is to identify specific molecular targets for developing novel therapeutic approaches. These targets can also serve to improve screening of breast cancer. This review focuses on the role of cancer testis antigens (CTAs) in breast carcinogenesis and explores the potential for development of targeted screening and therapeutic approaches. Normally found in the testes, these antigens are highly correlative with cancers of the breast, skin, and ovaries. These implications have been further corroborated through uncovering the interaction of CTAs with genes and proteins involved in tumor suppression and homeostasis like p53. There is some evidence that these genes can be targeted for early detection in addition to being candidates for cancer immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-320
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Reviews of Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Biomarker
  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer testis antigen
  • Cancer vaccine
  • Immunotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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