Oxford BioMedica
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5T4 Tumour Antigen

The 5T4 tumour antigen is a unique protein found on most common types of solid cancer, which makes it a potentially valuable target for novel anti-cancer interventions. The 5T4 antigen was discovered by scientists at Cancer Research UK (formerly Cancer Research Campaign.

Immune surveillance theory

The human immune surveillance theory states that cancerous cells arise regularly in the body, but the immune system eliminates them before they become harmful to surrounding tissue; only those that evade surveillance develop into tumours. When cells mutate and become cancerous, they often produce abnormal proteins, known as tumour-specific antigens, which can trigger an immune response.

Unique anti-cancer target

The 5T4 tumour antigen was identified through research into the similarities between the development of the placenta during pregnancy and the progression of cancer, namely those characteristics of invasion and immune escape.


Cancer remains one of the most common causes of death, taking millions of lives each year worldwide. The emergence of targeted therapies has provided new treatment modalities, particularly for metastatic disease. The 5T4 antigen is an ideal target given its restricted expression in normal tissues and its high prevalence on the surface of both primary and also metastatic cancerous cells.




There are more than 200 different types of cancer and over 60 different organs in the body where a cancer can develop


The cancer targeted therapies and immunotherapy market is forecast to generate sales of up to $35 billion a year over the next ten years managing over 60% of cancers (Citi Bank)