Expression of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) by medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), a neoplasm that arises from the parafollicular cells of the thyroid, has been used as a target of radioimmunotherapy. More recently, cancer-testis antigens, in particular NY-ESO-1, have been detected in medullary thyroid cancer (10). Thus, vaccines targeting these antigens may be useful for treatment of this malignancy. Also, because medullary thyroid cancer frequently arises as a familial syndrome, one interesting approach would be to apply immunizations as a way to prevent development of the disease as has been demonstrated in an animal model of familial human MTC (11).
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