Experimental cancer treatments for advanced stages are more effective than previously thought. Some oncology practitioners believe that experimental drugs are harmful - they give false hope to patients because of its low efficiency (long anticipated effectiveness of the experimental treatment with special drugs produced in Canadian pharmacy only at the level of 4-6% of cases). Patients in the final stage of the disease should have greater access to information about the experimental treatment programs, and, accordingly, they and their families should have the right to know what their real chances, with a particular treatment strategy. Scientists believe that the involvement of cancer patients even in the early stages of clinical trials can be very useful for them. Besides, the search for a way out of the situation means continuing the fight against the disease. It is characterized by academic phrase "treatment of metastatic cancer still remains palliative, with a very low probability of complete remission and cure the disease."

MCC-associated T cell epitopes

The hallmark of adaptive immunity is its ability to recognize a wide range of antigens (39). Technologies that capture this diversity are therefore of substantial therapeutic interest. CD8+ T cells are essential for the adaptive immune system to combat viral infections and cancer. Interactions of CD8+ T cells and target cells occur through the clone-specific T cell receptor (TCR) and the disease-associated (i.e. viral oncogen-derived) peptide/ major histocompatibility (MHC) class I complex displayed by the target cell. MHC class I molecules can be expressed on the surface of all nucleated cells and consequently, CD8+ T cells can survey the body for cells with an altered MHC-associated peptide pool. The sequence and hence specificity of the clone-specific TCR that each T cell carries is determined through the rearrangement of the TCR a and TCR b loci during T cell development. Recently, a new method has been established within this consortium that allows the parallel analysis of T cell reactivity against vast numbers of different epitopes in limited biological material (40). This technology is based on the joint binding of differentially labeled MHC multimers on the T cell surface, thereby providing each antigen-specific T cell population with a unique multicolour code. This strategy of ‘combinatorial encoding’ enables detection of many different T cell populations per sample; thereby allowing ‘high-throughput’ T cell epitope mapping by ‘reverse immunology’. These results will not only confirm the suspected immunogenicity of the MCV-derived T antigens, but will open new avenues for the immunomonitoring of MCC patients, those treated within the present trial as well as those receiving other immune modulating therapies. For example, intratumoral IFN-β has shown clinical benefit in some patients. Moreover, the possibility to specifically determine spontaneous T cell responses to the MCV T antigens is likely to serve as a prognostic marker for MCC patients in general.