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Despite the fact that many tumors express MHC class I molecules presenting "foreign" peptide antigens, a vigorous tumor-destructing immune response is seldom detected. A possible explanation is that tumors cannot provide adequate costimulatory signals as provided by professional antigen presenting cells. CD28, upon interacting with B7, triggers costimulatory signals critical for the T-cell response. Transfection of tumor cells with B7 augments the immunogenicity of the tumor so that an anti-tumor immune response can be amplified. When B7-CD28 costimulation is provided CTL specific for otherwise silent epitopes can be activated. Therefore, unresponsiveness of T cells to many tumor antigens should be considered as ignorance rather than tolerance. Immunological ignorance may thus contribute to the failure of the immune system to respond against the tumor antigens.

Original publication




Journal article


Life sciences

Publication Date





2035 - 2041


Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Seattle, WA 98121, USA.


T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic, Animals, Humans, Neoplasms, Antigens, Neoplasm, Lymphocyte Activation