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1.  Overexpression of MAGE-D4 in colorectal cancer is a potentially prognostic biomarker and immunotherapy target 
Melanoma-associated antigen D4 (MAGE-D4) is a novel member of MAGE family. This study aimed to examine the expression and immunogenicity of MAGE-D4 in colorectal cancer (CRC) to determine its potential as a prognosis and immunotherapeutic target. The expression of MAGE-D4 mRNA and protein was determined by RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry (IHC) in CRCs with paired adjacent non-tumor tissues, colorectal adenomas and normal colorectal tissues, respectively. Sera from 64 CRC patients were tested for MAGE-D4 antibody by ELISA. MAGE-D4 mRNA was more frequently expressed in CRCs (76.7%, 46/60) than in adjacent non-tumor tissues (15.0%, 9/60). MAGE-D4 protein was detected in all the CRC tissues tested, 70.0% of which showed high expression. There was no MAGE-D4 protein detected in any paired adjacent non-tumor tissue. No MAGE-D4 expression was found in colorectal adenomas and normal colorectal tissues by either RT-PCR or immunohistochemistry. Patients with high MAGE-D4 protein expression had significantly shorter overall survival than those with low MAGE-D4 protein expression (median, 68.6 vs 122.2 months; P=0.030). Furthermore, multivariate analysis exhibited high MAGE-D4 protein expression had a trend toward an independent prognostic factor (hazard ratio: 6.124; P=0.050). Humoral immunity to MAGE-D4 was detected in 12 of 64 (18.8%) CRC patients’ sera but not in 77 healthy donors. There was no correlation between MAGE-D4 expression, serum antibody and clinicopathological parameters. These findings suggest MAGE-D4 may serve as a potentially prognostic biomarker and an attractive target of immunotherapy in CRC.
PMCID: PMC4129003  PMID: 25120768
Melanoma-associated antigen; MAGE-D4; colorectal cancer; serum immunoreactivity
2.  Epigenetic modulation of MAGE-A3 antigen expression in multiple myeloma following treatment with the demethylation agent 5-azacitidine and the histone deacetlyase inhibitor MGCD0103 
Cytotherapy  2010;13(5):618-628.
Background aims
Immunotherapy targeting MAGE-A3 in multiple myeloma (MM) could eradicate highly aggressive and proliferative clonal cell populations responsible for relapse. However, expression of many cancer-testis antigens, including MAGE-A3, can be heterogeneous, leading to the potential for tumor escape despite MAGE-A3-induced immunity. We hypothesized that a combination of the hypomethylating agent 5-azacitidine (5AC) and the histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) MGCD0103 (MGC) could induce MAGE-A3 expression in MAGE-A3-negative MM, resulting in recognition and killing of MM cells by MAGE-A3-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL).
Gene expression analyses of MAGE-A3 expression in primary MM patient samples at diagnosis and relapse were completed to identify populations that would benefit from MAGE-A3 immunotherapy. MM cell lines were treated with 5AC and MGC. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Western blotting were performed to assess MAGE-A3 RNA and protein levels, respectively. Chromium-release assays and interferon (IFN) secretion assays were employed to ascertain MAGE-A3 CTL specificity against treated targets.
Gene expression analysis revealed that MAGE-A3 is expressed in MM patients at diagnosis (25%) and at relapse (49%). We observed de novo expression of MAGE-A3 RNA and protein in MAGE-A3-negative cell lines treated with 5AC. MGC treatment alone did not induce expression but sequential 5AC/MGC treatment led to enhanced expression and augmented recognition by MAGE-A3-specific CTL, as assessed by 51Cr-release assays (P = 0.047) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for IFN-γ secretion (P = 0.004).
MAGE-A3 is an attractive target for immunotherapy of MM and epigenetic modulation by 5AC, and MGC can induce MAGE-A3 expression and facilitate killing by MAGE-A3-specific CTL.
PMCID: PMC3633222  PMID: 21171821
5-azacitidine; cancer-testis antigen; demethylation; epigenetics; histone deactylase inhibitor; hypomethylation; MAGE-A3; MGCD0103; multiple myeloma
3.  Expression of tumor-specific antigen MAGE, GAGE and BAGE in ovarian cancer tissues and cell lines 
BMC Cancer  2010;10:163.
To observe mRNA expression of tumor-specific antigen MAGE, BAGE and GAGE in epithelial ovarian cancer tissues and cell lines, to explore the relationship between gene expression and diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of ovarian cancer, and to evaluate the feasibility of their gene products as markers, and an immunotherapy target for ovarian cancer.
mRNA expression of MAGE-1, MAGE-3, GAGE-1/2 and BAGE were determined by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in 14 cases of normal ovarian tissue, 20 cases of ovarian benign tumor specimens, 41 cases of ovarian cancer specimens, and ovarian cancer cell lines SKOV3, A2780, and COC1.
MAGE, GAGE and BAGE genes were not expressed in normal ovarian tissue. In benign tumors, only the MAGE gene was expressed; the expression rate of this gene in benign tumors was 15% (3/20). In ovarian cancer tissues, MAGE-1 and MAGE-3 was highly expressed, with expression rates of 53.7% (22/41) and 36.6% (15/41), while GAGE-1/2 and BAGE had relatively low expression, with rates of 26.8% (11/41) and 14.6% (6/41). In metastatic lesions of ovarian cancer, only MAGE-1 and BAGE were expressed, with expression rates of 28.6% (2/7) and 14.3% (1/7). The positive expression rates of MAGE-1 and MAGE-3 in serous cystadenocarcinoma were significantly higher than that in other types of ovarian cancer (P < 0.05). Gene expression rate was not correlated with menopause or lymph node metastasis. Positive expression of MAGE-1 and MAGE-3 was positively correlated with tumor differentiation and the clinical stage of the ovarian cancer. In addition, the positive expression rate of BAGE was significantly higher in ovarian cancer patients with ascites (P < 0.05). The mRNA expression profiles of MAGE, GAGE and BAGE in ovarian carcinoma cell lines SKOV3, A2780 and COC1 varied, but there was at least one gene expressed in each cell line.
Tumor-specific antigen MAGE, BAGE and GAGE may play a role in the occurrence and development of ovarian cancer. These genes can be used as one of the important indicators for early diagnosis, efficacy evaluation and prognostic determination of ovarian cancer.
PMCID: PMC2868811  PMID: 20423514
4.  Expression and clinical significance of cancer-testis genes in clear cell renal cell carcinoma 
Cancer-testis (CT) antigens, which are encoded by CT genes, have been recognized as a group of highly attractive targets for cancer immunotherapy. However, the expression and clinical relevance of CT genes in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) remains largely unknown. The present study aims to analyze the expression profile of 6 individual CT genes including MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3, MAGE-A12, cTAGE-1, cTAGE-2, and NY-ESO-1 in ccRCC and further investigate their possible correlations with clinicopathologic characteristics. The mRNA expressions of these CT genes were detected using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in 105 ccRCC tissue samples (T1-2 in 70 samples, T3-4 in 35 samples; G1-2 in 65 samples, G3-4 in 40 samples) as well as the paired adjacent normal tissues. The most frequently expressed CT gene was MAGE-A3 (27.6%), followed by MAGE-A12 (23.8%), NY-ESO-1 (21%), MAGE-A1 (20%), cTAGE-1 (17.1%), and cTAGE-2 (14.3%). In contrast, no expression of CT genes was detected in the paired adjacent normal tissues. Furthermore, the MAGE-A3 protein expression was determined by Western blot and immunohistochemistry. MAGE-A3 protein was expressed in 21.9% ccRCC samples with a cytoplasmic staining pattern. No MAGE-A3 protein expression was found in the paired adjacent normal tissues. There was a significant correlation between MAGE-A3 expression at both mRNA (P =0.045) and protein (P = 0.03) levels with advanced stages of the disease. Taken together, CT genes may serve as promising targets of specific immunotherapy for ccRCC and particularly, MAGE-A3 may serve as a potential prognostic marker for ccRCC patients.
PMCID: PMC4129025  PMID: 25120790
Cancer-testis (CT) gene; clear cell renal cell carcinoma; immunotherapy; prognosis
5.  Quantitative Expression and Immunogenicity of MAGE-3 and -6 in Upper Aerodigestive Tract Cancer 
The MAGE antigens are frequently expressed cancer vaccine targets. However, quantitative analysis of MAGE expression in upper aero-digestive tract (UADT) tumor cells and its association with T cell recognition has not been performed, hindering the selection of appropriate candidates for MAGE specific immunotherapy. Using quantitative RT-PCR (QRT-PCR), we evaluated the expression of MAGE-3/6 in 65 UADT cancers, 48 normal samples from tumor matched sites and 7 HLA-A*0201+squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) cell lines. Expression results were confirmed using western blot. HLA-A*0201:MAGE-3(271–279) specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (MAGE-CTL) from SCCHN patients and healthy donors showed that MAGE-3/6 expression was highly associated with CTL recognition in vitro. Based on MAGE-3/6 expression we could identify 31 (47%) of the 65 UADT tumors which appeared to express MAGE-3/6 at levels that correlated with efficient CTL recognition. To confirm that the level of MAGE-3 expression was responsible for CTL recognition, two MAGE-3/6 mRNAhigh SCCHN cell lines, PCI-13 and PCI-30, were subjected to MAGE-3/6 specific knockdown. RNAi–transfected cells showed that MAGE expression, and MAGE-CTL recognition, were significantly reduced. Furthermore, treatment of cells expressing low MAGE-3/6 mRNA with a demethylating agent, 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (DAC), increased the expression of MAGE-3/6 and CTL recognition. Thus, using QRT-PCR UADT cancers frequently express MAGE-3/6 at levels sufficient for CTL recognition, supporting the use of a QRT-PCR based assay for the selection of candidates likely to respond to MAGE-3/6 immunotherapy. Demethylating agents could increase the number of patients amenable for targeting epigenetically modified tumor antigens in vaccine trials.
PMCID: PMC2757316  PMID: 19610063
MAGE; Head and neck cancer; T cells; QRT-PCR
6.  Targeting MAGE-C1/CT7 Expression Increases Cell Sensitivity to the Proteasome Inhibitor Bortezomib in Multiple Myeloma Cell Lines 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(11):e27707.
The MAGE-C1/CT7 encodes a cancer/testis antigen (CTA), is located on the chromosomal region Xq26–27 and is highly polymorphic in humans. MAGE-C1/CT7 is frequently expressed in multiple myeloma (MM) that may be a potential target for immunotherapy in this still incurable disease. MAGEC1/CT7 expression is restricted to malignant plasma cells and it has been suggested that MAGE-C1/CT7 might play a pathogenic role in MM; however, the exact function this protein in the pathophysiology of MM is not yet understood. Our objectives were (1) to clarify the role of MAGE-C1/CT7 in the control of cellular proliferation and cell cycle in myeloma and (2) to evaluate the impact of silencing MAGE-C1/CT7 on myeloma cells treated with bortezomib. Myeloma cell line SKO-007 was transduced for stable expression of shRNA-MAGE-C1/CT7. Downregulation of MAGE-C1/CT7 was confirmed by real time quantitative PCR and western blot. Functional assays included cell proliferation, cell invasion, cell cycle analysis and apoptosis. Western blot showed a 70–80% decrease in MAGE-C1/CT7 protein expression in inhibited cells (shRNA-MAGE-C1/CT7) when compared with controls. Functional assays did not indicate a difference in cell proliferation and DNA synthesis when inhibited cells were compared with controls. However, we found a decreased percentage of cells in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle among inhibited cells, but not in the controls (p<0.05). When myeloma cells were treated with bortezomib, we observed a 48% reduction of cells in the G2/M phase among inhibited cells while controls showed 13% (empty vector) and 9% (ineffective shRNA) reduction, respectively (p<0.01). Furthermore, inhibited cells treated with bortezomib showed an increased percentage of apoptotic cells (Annexin V+/PI-) in comparison with bortezomib-treated controls (p<0.001). We found that MAGE-C1/CT7 protects SKO-007 cells against bortezomib-induced apoptosis. Therefore, we could speculate that MAGE-C1/CT7 gene therapy could be a strategy for future therapies in MM, in particular in combination with proteasome inhibitors.
PMCID: PMC3218015  PMID: 22110734
7.  MAGE A1-A6 RT-PCR and MAGE A3 and p16 methylation analysis in induced sputum from patients with lung cancer and non-malignant lung diseases 
Oncology Reports  2011;27(4):911-916.
The melanoma antigen gene (MAGE) A1-A6 RT-PCR system was developed for the detection of lung cancer cells in the sputum. However, we identified MAGE expression in some patients with non-malignant lung diseases. To understand these patterns of MAGE expression, we performed MAGE A3 methylation-specific PCR (MSP) and p16 MSP. We collected 24 biopsy specimens of lung cancer tissue and performed MAGE A1-A6 RT-PCR, MAGE A3 MSP and p16 MSP. RNA and DNA were simultaneously extracted from induced sputum specimens of 133 patients with lung diseases and 30 random sputum specimens of healthy individuals and the 3 molecular analyses were performed. The patients were diagnosed as 65 cases of lung cancer and 68 of benign lung diseases. Positive rates of MAGE A1-A6 RT-PCR, MAGE A3 MSP and p16 MSP were as follows: in lung cancer tissue, 87.5, 58.3 and 70.8%; in the sputum of lung cancer patients, 50.8, 46.2 and 63.1%; benign lung diseases, 10.3, 30.9 and 39.7%; and healthy individuals, 3.3, 6.7 and 3.3%. Of the 40 MAGE-positive cases, 33 were diagnosed with lung cancer and 7 as having benign lung diseases. From the 7 cases of MAGE-positive benign lung diseases, 6 cases showed methylation abnormalities. The MAGE-positive group revealed significantly higher rates of methylation abnormalities. Of the 40 MAGE-positive cases, 39 cases were found to be lung cancer or benign lung diseases with abnormal methylation. Thus, MAGE expression in the sputum suggests the presence of lung cancer cells or pre-cancerous cells.
PMCID: PMC3583547  PMID: 22134685
lung cancer; sputum; melanoma antigen gene RT-PCR; melanoma antigen gene A3; p16; methylation
8.  Detection of Lung Cancer using MAGE A1-6 and SSX4 RT-PCR Expression Profiles in the Bronchial Wash Fluid 
Bronchial wash fluid may be a useful for detecting lung cancer. To increase the detection rates, we performed molecular analysis with using MAGE A1-6 and SSX4 RT-PCR on bronchial wash fluid specimens.
Materials and Methods
We obtained 57 lung cancer tissue specimens by bronchoscopic biopsy and 131 bronchial washes from 96 patients with lung cancer and 35 patients with benign lung diseases. The MAGE A1-6 and SSX4 gene expressions were investigated in the cancer tissue specimens and bronchial wash fluids. We evaluated the positive detection rates of these methods according to the cytology results and the clinical findings.
For the cancer tissue specimens and the bronchial wash fluid, the positive detection rate of MAGE or SSX4 was 91.2% and 75.0%, respectively. Combined MAGE and SSX4 PCR and cytology tests showed an 83.3% detection rate for the bronchial wash fluid. From bronchial washes of patients with benign lung diseases, the positive rates of using MAGE or SSX4 was 11.4%. In the bronchial wash fluid of lung cancer patients, 66.7% of the peripheral cancers were detected by MAGE or SSX4, while examination with cytology did not detect any peripheral lung cancer.
The application of both MAGE and SSX4 showed high sensitivity and specificity for the detection of lung cancer. Thus, MAGE and SSX4 RT-PCR may be effectively utilized as additional methods to improve detection of lung cancer with using bronchial wash fluids.
PMCID: PMC2739316  PMID: 19746211
MAGE; SSX; Cytology; Bronchial wash
9.  Expression and Immune Responses to MAGE Antigens Predict Survival in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e104099.
The MAGE cancer-testis antigens (CTA) are attractive candidates for immunotherapy. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of expression, humoral immunity and prognostic significance of MAGE CTA in human epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). mRNA or protein expression frequencies were determined for MAGE-A1, -A3, -A4, -A10 and -C1 (CT7) in tissue samples obtained from 400 patients with EOC. The presence of autologous antibodies against the MAGE antigens was determined from 285 serum samples. The relationships between MAGE expression, humoral immunity to MAGE antigens, and clinico-pathologic characteristics were studied. The individual frequencies of expression were as follows: A1: 15% (42/281), A3: 36% (131/390), A4: 47% (186/399), A10: 52% (204/395), C1: 16% (42/267). Strong concordant expression was noted with MAGE-A1:–A4, MAGE-A1:–C1 and MAGE-A4:–A10 (p<0.0005). Expression of MAGE-A1 or -A10 antigens resulted in poor progression free survival (PFS) (OR 1.44, CI 1.01–2.04, p = 0.044 and OR 1.3, CI 1.03–1.64, p = 0.03, respectively); whereas, MAGE-C1 expression was associated with improved PFS (OR 0.62, CI 0.42–0.92, p = 0.016). The improved PFS observed for MAGE-C1 expression, was diminished by co-expression of MAGE-A1 or -A10. Spontaneous humoral immunity to the MAGE antigens was present in 9% (27/285) of patients, and this predicted poor overall survival (log-rank test p = 0.0137). These findings indicate that MAGE-A1, MAGE-A4, MAGE-A3, and MAGE-A10 are priority attractive targets for polyvalent immunotherapy in ovarian cancer patients.
PMCID: PMC4125181  PMID: 25101620
10.  Pattern of cancer/testis antigen expression in lung cancer patients 
Cancer/testis (CT) antigens represent promising targets for immunotherapy. We investigated the composite expression of 13 CT antigens by RT-PCR in 79 lung cancer tissues and by immunohistochemistry in 22 lung cancer tissues. In the 79 lung cancer tissues, MAGE-3 (42%) was expressed most frequently and followed by NY-SAR-35 (33%), NY-ESO-1 (30%), MAGE-1 (27%), CT-7 (20%), MAGE-4 (19%), LAGE-1 (16%), and MAGE-10 (14%). Twenty-one tissues did not express any of the CT antigens tested, 58 (73%) expressed at least one, 36 (46%) co-expressed two, 24 (30%) co-expressed three, 17 (22%) co-expressed four, 14 (18%) co-expressed five, 8 (10%) co-expressed six, 4 (6%) co-expressed seven and 2 tissues expressed 9 of the 13 examined CT antigens. Expression of CT antigens was significantly associated with age (P<0.001), smoking history (P=0.009), and gender (P=0.001) of patients, whereas no correlation was found between the expression of CT antigens and other clinical factors, such as pT status, pN status, tumor stage, and histology history. The present results show that CT antigens are potential candidates in lung cancer patients for polyvalent immunotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3573764  PMID: 22294213
lung cancer; cancer/testis antigen; cancer immunotherapy; MAGE-3; NY-SAR-35
11.  Expression of cancer testis antigens in human BRCA-associated breast cancers: potential targets for immunoprevention? 
Novel breast cancer risk-reducing strategies for individuals with germline mutations of the BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 genes are urgently needed. Identification of antigenic targets that are expressed in early cancers, but absent in normal breast epithelium of these high-risk individuals, could provide the basis for the development of effective immunoprophylactic strategies. Cancer testis (CT) antigens are potential candidates because their expression is restricted to tumors, and accumulating data suggest that they play important roles in cellular proliferation, stem cell function, and carcinogenesis. The objective of this study was to examine the expression of CT antigens and their frequency in BRCA-associated breast cancers.
Archived breast cancer tissues (n = 26) as well as morphologically normal breast tissues (n = 7) from women carrying deleterious BRCA 1 and/or 2 mutations were obtained for antigen expression analysis by immunohistochemistry. Expression of the following CT antigens was examined: MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3, MAGE-A4, MAGE-C1. CT7, NY-ESO-1, MAGE-C2/CT10, and GAGE.
CT antigens were expressed in 16/26 (61.5%, 95% CI 43–80%) of BRCA-associated cancers, including in situ tumors. Thirteen of twenty-six (50%) breast cancers expressed two or more CT antigens; three cancers expressed all seven CT antigens. MAGE-A was expressed in 13/26 (50%) of cancers, NY-ESO-1 was expressed in 10/26 (38%) of tumors. In contrast, none of the CT antigens were expressed in adjacent or contralateral normal breast epithelium (P = 0.003).
We report a high CT antigen expression rate in BRCA-associated breast cancer as well as the lack of expression of these antigens in benign breast tissue of carriers, identifying CT antigens as potential vaccine targets for breast cancer prevention in these high-risk individuals.
PMCID: PMC3678385  PMID: 21465317
Cancer testis antigen; NY-ESO-1; MAGE-A; Breast cancer; BRCA1/2; Vaccine; Prevention
12.  Detection of MAGE-A3 in breast cancer patients’ sentinel lymph nodes 
British Journal of Cancer  2001;85(9):1340-1346.
The detection of occult metastatic breast cancer cells by RT-PCR is limited by the poor specificity of most tumour mRNA markers. MAGE-A3 is a highly specific tumour mRNA marker that is not expressed in non-cancer cells. This study assesses MAGE-A3 mRNA as a molecular marker for the detection of tumour cells in the sentinel lymph nodes (SLN) of breast cancer patients. Serial frozen sections of SLN (n= 121) were obtained from 77 AJCC (American Joint Committee on Cancer) Stage I–IIIA breast cancer patients. MAGE-A3 mRNA analysis of SLN was performed by RT-PCR and Southern blot analysis. Tumour cells were detected in 48 of 121 (40%) SLN from 77 patients by H&E or IHC staining, and 35 of 77 (45%) patients, overall, had histopathologically (H&E and/or IHC) positive SLN. Among histopathologically negative SLN, 28 of 73 (38%) SLN were MAGE-A3 mRNA positive by RT-PCR. Overall, 41 of 77 (53%) patients and 50 of 121 (41%) SLN were positive for MAGE-A3. MAGE-A3 mRNA expression in the SLN occurred more frequently with infiltrating lobular carcinoma (P< 0.001) than with infiltrating ductal carcinoma, adding further evidence of possible phenotypic differences between these 2 subtypes of breast cancer. Due to its high specificity, MAGE-A3 mRNA is a potentially useful marker for detecting breast cancer cells in the SLN. One half of breast tumours expressed MAGE-A3 mRNA, which has important potential implications for antigen-specific targeted immunotherapy. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign
PMCID: PMC2375232  PMID: 11720472
breast cancer; MAGE-A3; micrometastases; RT-PCR; sentinel lymph node
13.  Aberrant expression of melanoma-associated antigen-D2 serves as a prognostic indicator of hepatocellular carcinoma outcome following curative hepatectomy 
Oncology Letters  2014;9(3):1201-1206.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common cause of cancer-related mortality globally. Since the prognosis of advanced HCC patients is extremely poor, the development of novel molecular targets for diagnosis and therapy is urgently required. In the present study, the expression of the melanoma-associated antigen-D2 (MAGE-D2) gene was investigated to determine whether it affects the malignant phenotype of HCC and thus, may serve as a marker of prognosis. Therefore, the expression of MAGE-D2 mRNA and MAGE-D2 protein in nine HCC cell lines and 151 pairs of surgical tissues was analyzed. mRNA expression levels were analyzed using reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry was used to compare the clinicopathological parameters of the tumors. A significant difference in the level of MAGE-D2 expression was observed between the normal liver and chronic hepatitis tissues, however, no significant differences were identified among the levels of the chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis and HCC tissues. The expression patterns of the MAGE-D2 protein were consistent with those of its mRNA. The expression levels of MAGE-D2 mRNA in 66 of 151 (44%) patients were higher in the HCC tissues compared with the corresponding non-cancerous tissues. In addition, the disease-specific survival time was significantly shorter for patients with higher levels of MAGE-D2 mRNA expression. Multivariate analysis identified increased expression of MAGE-D2 mRNA as an independent prognostic factor for disease-specific survival (hazard ratio, 2.65; 95% confidence interval, 1.43–4.98; P=0.002). However, increased expression levels of MAGE-D2 mRNA were not significantly associated with other clinicopathological parameters, including extrahepatic recurrence. These results indicated that MAGE-D2 mRNA affects tumor progression and may serve as a prognostic indicator following curative resection. In addition, MAGE-D2 may provide a target for the therapy of HCC.
PMCID: PMC4314984  PMID: 25663882
hepatocellular carcinoma; expression; prognosis; melanoma-associated antigen-D2
14.  The significance of MAGED4 expression in non-small cell lung cancer as analyzed by real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR 
Oncology Letters  2012;4(4):733-738.
The aim of this study was to detect differences in the expression levels of melanoma-associated antigen D4 (MAGED4) mRNA between non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tissues and normal tissues, and to compare differences in the expression levels of MAGED4 in tumor patients. Patients were grouped according to age, gender, smoking history, tumor size, pathological classification, degree of lung cancer cell differentiation and presence of lymph node metastasis. The expression levels of MAGED4 were detected using real-time fluorescence quantitative PCR. MAGED4 expression was higher in squamous cell carcinomas compared to adenocarcinomas (P<0.05), in poorly differentiated tissues compared to well-differentiated tissues (P<0.05), and in patients with lymph node metastasis compared to patients without lymph node metastasis (P<0.05). MAGED4 may be used as a specific antigen for NSCLC to influence the improvement of diagnosis, prognosis and immunological therapy outcomes in lung cancer patients.
PMCID: PMC3506701  PMID: 23205092
MAGED4 gene; non-small cell lung cancer; polymerase chain reaction
15.  Expression of MAGE-C1/CT7 and MAGE-C2/CT10 Predicts Lymph Node Metastasis in Melanoma Patients 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e21418.
MAGE-C1/CT7 and MAGE-C2/CT10 are members of the large MAGE family of cancer-testis (CT) antigens. CT antigens are promising targets for immunotherapy in cancer because their expression is restricted to cancer and germ line cells and a proportion of cancer patients presents with immune responses against CT antigens, which clearly demonstrates their immunogenicity. This study investigates the expression of MAGE-C1/CT7 and MAGE-C2/CT10 in primary and metastatic melanoma. Immunohistochemical staining of tissue microarrays that consisted of 59 primary malignant melanomas of the skin, 163 lymph node and distant melanoma metastases and 68 melanoma cell lines was performed. We found MAGE-C1/CT7 expression in 15 out of 50 (24%) primary melanomas and 15 out of 50 (24%) cell lines, whereas MAGE-C2/CT10 was detected in 17 out of 51 (33%) primary melanomas and 14 out of 68 (17%) cell lines. MAGE-C1/CT7 and MAGE-C2/CT10 were both detected in 40% of melanoma metastases. Patients with MAGE-C1/CT7 or MAGE-C2/CT10 positive primary melanoma had significantly more lymph node metastases (p = 0.005 and p<0.001, resp.). Prediction of lymph node metastasis by MAGE-C1/CT7 and MAGE-C2/CT10 was independent of tumor cell proliferation rate (Ki67 labeling index) in a multivariate analysis (p = 0.01). Our results suggest that the expression of MAGE-C1/CT7 and MAGE-C2/CT10 in primary melanoma is a potent predictor of sentinel lymph node metastasis.
PMCID: PMC3124507  PMID: 21738656
16.  Integrative Genomic Analyses Identify BRF2 as a Novel Lineage-Specific Oncogene in Lung Squamous Cell Carcinoma 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(7):e1000315.
William Lockwood and colleagues show that the focal amplification of a gene, BRF2, on Chromosome 8p12 plays a key role in squamous cell carcinoma of the lung.
Traditionally, non-small cell lung cancer is treated as a single disease entity in terms of systemic therapy. Emerging evidence suggests the major subtypes—adenocarcinoma (AC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC)—respond differently to therapy. Identification of the molecular differences between these tumor types will have a significant impact in designing novel therapies that can improve the treatment outcome.
Methods and Findings
We used an integrative genomics approach, combing high-resolution comparative genomic hybridization and gene expression microarray profiles, to compare AC and SqCC tumors in order to uncover alterations at the DNA level, with corresponding gene transcription changes, which are selected for during development of lung cancer subtypes. Through the analysis of multiple independent cohorts of clinical tumor samples (>330), normal lung tissues and bronchial epithelial cells obtained by bronchial brushing in smokers without lung cancer, we identified the overexpression of BRF2, a gene on Chromosome 8p12, which is specific for development of SqCC of lung. Genetic activation of BRF2, which encodes a RNA polymerase III (Pol III) transcription initiation factor, was found to be associated with increased expression of small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs) that are involved in processes essential for cell growth, such as RNA splicing. Ectopic expression of BRF2 in human bronchial epithelial cells induced a transformed phenotype and demonstrates downstream oncogenic effects, whereas RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated knockdown suppressed growth and colony formation of SqCC cells overexpressing BRF2, but not AC cells. Frequent activation of BRF2 in >35% preinvasive bronchial carcinoma in situ, as well as in dysplastic lesions, provides evidence that BRF2 expression is an early event in cancer development of this cell lineage.
This is the first study, to our knowledge, to show that the focal amplification of a gene in Chromosome 8p12, plays a key role in squamous cell lineage specificity of the disease. Our data suggest that genetic activation of BRF2 represents a unique mechanism of SqCC lung tumorigenesis through the increase of Pol III-mediated transcription. It can serve as a marker for lung SqCC and may provide a novel target for therapy.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Lung cancer is the commonest cause of cancer-related death. Every year, 1.3 million people die from this disease, which is mainly caused by smoking. Most cases of lung cancer are “non-small cell lung cancers” (NSCLCs). Like all cancers, NSCLC starts when cells begin to divide uncontrollably and to move round the body (metastasize) because of changes (mutations) in their genes. These mutations are often in “oncogenes,” genes that, when activated, encourage cell division. Oncogenes can be activated by mutations that alter the properties of the proteins they encode or by mutations that increase the amount of protein made from them, such as gene amplification (an increase in the number of copies of a gene). If NSCLC is diagnosed before it has spread from the lungs (stage I disease), it can be surgically removed and many patients with stage I NSCLC survive for more than 5 years after their diagnosis. Unfortunately, in more than half of patients, NSCLC has metastasized before it is diagnosed. This stage IV NSCLC can be treated with chemotherapy (toxic chemicals that kill fast-growing cancer cells) but only 2% of patients with stage IV lung cancer are alive 5 years after diagnosis.
Why Was This Study Done?
Traditionally, NSCLC has been regarded as a single disease in terms of treatment. However, emerging evidence suggests that the two major subtypes of NSCLC—adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma (SqCC)—respond differently to chemotherapy. Adenocarcinoma and SqCC start in different types of lung cell and experts think that for each cell type in the body, specific combinations of mutations interact with the cell type's own unique characteristics to provide the growth and survival advantage needed for cancer development. If this is true, then identifying the molecular differences between adenocarcinoma and SqCC could provide targets for more effective therapies for these major subtypes of NSCLC. Amplification of a chromosome region called 8p12 is very common in NSCLC, which suggests that an oncogene that drives lung cancer development is present in this chromosome region. In this study, the researchers investigate this possibility by looking for an amplified gene in the 8p12 chromosome region that makes increased amounts of protein in lung SqCC but not in lung adenocarcinoma.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used a technique called comparative genomic hybridization to show that focal regions of Chromosome 8p are amplified in about 40% of lung SqCCs, but that DNA loss in this region is the most common alteration in lung adenocarcinomas. Ten genes in the 8p12 chromosome region were expressed at higher levels in the SqCC samples that they examined than in adenocarcinoma samples, they report, and overexpression of five of these genes correlated with amplification of the 8p12 region in the SqCC samples. Only one of the genes—BRF2—was more highly expressed in squamous carcinoma cells than in normal bronchial epithelial cells (the cell type that lines the tubes that take air into the lungs and from which SqCC develops). Artificially induced expression of BRF2 in bronchial epithelial cells made these normal cells behave like tumor cells, whereas reduction of BRF2 expression in squamous carcinoma cells made them behave more like normal bronchial epithelial cells. Finally, BRF2 was frequently activated in two early stages of squamous cell carcinoma—bronchial carcinoma in situ and dysplastic lesions.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Together, these findings show that the focal amplification of chromosome region 8p12 plays a role in the development of lung SqCC but not in the development of lung adenocarcinoma, the other major subtype of NSCLC. These findings identify BRF2 (which encodes a RNA polymerase III transcription initiation factor, a protein that is required for the synthesis of RNA molecules that help to control cell growth) as a lung SqCC-specific oncogene and uncover a unique mechanism for lung SqCC development. Most importantly, these findings suggest that genetic activation of BRF2 could be used as a marker for lung SqCC, which might facilitate the early detection of this type of NSCLC and that BRF2 might provide a new target for therapy.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The US National Cancer Institute provides detailed information for patients and professionals about all aspects of lung cancer, including information on non-small cell carcinoma (in English and Spanish)
Cancer Research UK also provides information about lung cancer and information on how cancer starts
MedlinePlus has links to other resources about lung cancer (in English and Spanish)
PMCID: PMC2910599  PMID: 20668658
17.  Circulating tumor and cancer stem cells in hepatitis C virus-associated liver disease 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(48):18240-18248.
AIM: To assess the role of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and cancer stem cells (CSCs) in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-associated liver disease.
METHODS: Blood and/or tissue samples were obtained from HCV (genotype 4)-associated hepatocellular carcinoma patients (HCC; n = 120), chronic hepatitis C patients (CH; n = 30) and 33 normal control subjects (n = 33). Serum levels of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), alkaline phosphatase, and alanine and aspartate aminotransferases were measured. Cytokeratin 19 (CK19) monoclonal antibody was used to enumerate CTCs, and CD133 and CD90 were used to enumerate CSCs by flow cytometry. The expression levels of the CSCs markers (CD133 and CD90) as well as telomerase, melanoma antigen encoding gene 1 (MAGE1) and MAGE3 were assessed by RT-PCR and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reactions. The number of CTCs and/or the expression levels of CK19, CD133, telomerase, MAGE1 and MAGE3 were correlated to the standard clinicopathologic prognostic factors and disease progression.
RESULTS: Levels of AFP, alkaline phosphatase and aspartate aminotransferase were significantly different among the HCC, CH and control groups (P < 0.001), whereas alanine aminotransferase differed significantly between patient (HCC and CH) and control groups (P < 0.001). At the specified cutoff values determine by flow cytometry, CK19 (49.8), CD90 (400) and CD133 (73) were significantly higher in the blood of HCC patients compared to those in the CH and control groups (P < 0.001). On the other hand, CD133 at a 69.5 cutoff was significantly higher in the CH compared to the control group (P ≤ 0.001). Telomerase, MAGE1 and MAGE3 RNA were expressed in 55.71%, 60.00% and 62.86% of the HCC patients, respectively, but were not detected in patients in the CH or control groups, which were statistically significant (Ps < 0.001). The expression levels of telomerase, CD90, MAGE3, CD133 and CK19 were all significantly associated with high tumor grade and advanced stage in HCC patients (all Ps < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: CTC counts and AFP, CK19, telomerase, and MAGE1/MAGE3 expression predict disease progression in patients with HCV, whereas telomerase, MAGE3, CD90, CD133 and CK19 are prognostic markers in HCC.
PMCID: PMC4277961  PMID: 25561791
Cancer stem cells; Circulating tumor cells; Hepatitis C virus genotype-4; Hepatocellular carcinoma
18.  Evolutionary History of the Cancer Immunity Antigen MAGE Gene Family 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e20365.
The evolutionary mode of a multi-gene family can change over time, depending on the functional differentiation and local genomic environment of family members. In this study, we demonstrate such a change in the melanoma antigen (MAGE) gene family on the mammalian X chromosome. The MAGE gene family is composed of ten subfamilies that can be categorized into two types. Type I genes are of relatively recent origin, and they encode epitopes for human leukocyte antigen (HLA) in cancer cells. Type II genes are relatively ancient and some of their products are known to be involved in apoptosis or cell proliferation. The evolutionary history of the MAGE gene family can be divided into four phases. In phase I, a single-copy state of an ancestral gene and the evolutionarily conserved mode had lasted until the emergence of eutherian mammals. In phase II, eight subfamily ancestors, with the exception for MAGE-C and MAGE-D subfamilies, were formed via retrotransposition independently. This would coincide with a transposition burst of LINE elements at the eutherian radiation. However, MAGE-C was generated by gene duplication of MAGE-A. Phase III is characterized by extensive gene duplication within each subfamily and in particular the formation of palindromes in the MAGE-A subfamily, which occurred in an ancestor of the Catarrhini. Phase IV is characterized by the decay of a palindrome in most Catarrhini, with the exception of humans. Although the palindrome is truncated by frequent deletions in apes and Old World monkeys, it is retained in humans. Here, we argue that this human-specific retention stems from negative selection acting on MAGE-A genes encoding epitopes of cancer cells, which preserves their ability to bind to highly divergent HLA molecules. These findings are interpreted with consideration of the biological factors shaping recent human MAGE-A genes.
PMCID: PMC3112145  PMID: 21695252
19.  MAGE-A3 is highly expressed in a subset of colorectal cancer patients 
Cancer Immunity  2012;12:16.
The expression of Cancer/Testis (CT) antigens in some tumors and restricted expression in normal tissue make CT antigens attractive vaccine targets. We evaluated the expression of MAGE-A3, PLAC1, GAGE, and CTAG2 in a series of colorectal cancers (CRC). CT mRNA expression was determined via quantitative PCR on paired tumors and normal tissue samples from 82 CRC patients. In addition, plasma antibody titers specific to MAGE-A3, PLAC1, GAGE, and CTAG2 were determined via ELISA. Tissue expression of MAGE-A3 was assessed via a standard IHC protocol. The Student’s t-test was used for statistical analysis (significance p < 0.05). Tumor expression of MAGE-A3, CTAG2, and GAGE was compared to the levels of expression in testis. The percentage of samples that had a tumor vs. testis expression ratio above 0.1% was: MAGE-A3 (28%) and CTAG2 (17%) but no tumor presented GAGE expression levels above 0.1%. The expression levels of PLAC1 in tumors were compared to the levels in placenta, and in 12.8% of the samples analyzed, these levels were above 0.1%. Sero-reactivity specific for MAGE-A genes and PLAC1 was noted in 2.4% and 2.6% of patients, respectively. MAGE-A3 and PLAC1 may hold promise as vaccine targets for CRC. Further study is warranted.
PMCID: PMC3554221  PMID: 23390371
MAGE-A3; tumor expression; colorectal cancer; Cancer/Testis antigens
20.  Evaluation of MAGE-1 and MAGE-3 as tumour-specific markers to detect blood dissemination of hepatocellular carcinoma cells 
British Journal of Cancer  2002;86(1):110-116.
The members of MAGE gene family are highly expressed in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In the present study, we tested the tumour-specific MAGE-1 and MAGE-3 transcripts in the peripheral blood of HCC patients by nested RT–PCR to detect the circulating tumour cells and evaluate their potential clinical implication. Of 30 HCC patients, the positive rate of MAGE-1 and MAGE-3 transcripts was 43.3% (13 out of 30) and 33.3% (10 out of 30) in PBMC samples, whilst the positive rate was 70% (21 out of 30) and 53.3% (16 out of 30) in the resected HCC tissue samples, respectively. The positivity for at least one MAGE gene transcript was 63.3% (19 out of 30) in PBMC samples of HCC patients and 83.3% (25 out of 30) in the resected HCC tissue samples. MAGE-1 and/or MAGE-3 mRNA were not detected in the PBMC of those patients from whom the resected HCC tissues were MAGE-1 or MAGE-3 mRNA negative, nor in the 25 PBMC samples from healthy donors. The detection of MAGE transcripts in PBMC was correlated with the advanced stages and tumour size of the HCC, being 82.4% (14 out of 17) in tumour stages III and IVa, 56.6% (five out of nine) in stage II, and null (nought out of four) in stage I. The serum α-FP in 33.3% (10 out of 30) of HCC patients was normal or slightly elevated (<40 ng ml−1). However, six of these 10 patients (α-FP <40 ng ml−1) were MAGE-1 and /or MAGE-3 mRNA positive in their PBMC. The follow-up survey of MAGE mRNA in PBMC was performed in 12 patients. Seven patients with persistent MAGE-1 and/or MAGE-3 mRNA positive or from negative turned to positive died because of metastasis and/or recurrence. In striking contrast, all four patients with MAGE-1 and/or MAGE-3 mRNA from positive turned to negative and one patient with persistent MAGE-3 transcript negative are alive after last test. Collectively, detection of MAGE transcripts with follow-up survey in PBMC is a feasible and reliable assay for the early prediction of the relapse and prognosis of the HCC patients.
British Journal of Cancer (2002) 86, 110–116. DOI: 10.1038/sj/bjc/6600016
© 2002 The Cancer Research Campaign
PMCID: PMC2746529  PMID: 11857021
circulating tumour cells; hepatocellular carcinoma; MAGE transcripts; nested polymerase chain reaction; tumour-specific marker
21.  Analysis of expression profiles of MAGE-A antigens in oral squamous cell carcinoma cell lines 
Head & Face Medicine  2009;5:10.
The immunological response to solid tumours is insufficient. Therefore, tumour specific antigens have been explored to facilitate the activation of the immune system. The cancer/testis antigen class of MAGE-A antigens is a possible target for vaccination. Their differential expression profiles also modulate the course of the cancer disease and its response to antineoplastic drugs.
The expression profiles of MAGE-A2, -A3, -A4, -A6 and -A10 in five own oral squamous cell carcinoma cell lines were characterised by rt-PCR, qrt-PCR and immunocytochemistry with a global MAGE-A antibody (57B) and compared with those of an adult keratinocyte cell line (NHEK).
All tumour cell lines expressed MAGE-A antigens. The antigens were expressed in groups with different preferences. The predominant antigens expressed were MAGE-A2, -A3 and -A6. MAGE-A10 was not expressed in the cell lines tested. The MAGE-A gene products detected in the adult keratinocyte cell line NHEK were used as a reference.
MAGE-A antigens are expressed in oral squamous cell carcinomas. The expression profiles measured facilitate distinct examinations in forthcoming studies on responses to antineoplastic drugs or radiation therapy. MAGE-A antigens are still an interesting aim for immunotherapy.
PMCID: PMC2690579  PMID: 19358718
22.  A novel Multiple-Marker Method for the Early Diagnosis of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma 
Disease markers  2009;27(2):75-84.
Objective: Melanoma associated antigens-A (MAGE-A) expression is highly specific to cancer cells. Thus, they can be the most suitable targets for the diagnosis of malignancy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the sensitivity of multiple MAGE-A expression analysis for the diagnosis of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC).
Methods: Total of 70 OSSC and 20 normal oral mucosal (NOM) samples of otherwise healthy volunteers were examined for the expression of 10 different single antigens out of 12 different MAGE-A subtypes by highly sensitive reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) methods. The results were correlated to clinicopathological parameters of tumor samples.
Results: Expression of MAGE-A was restricted to OSCC. The expression frequency of single antigen was between 10% and 55%. However, expression rate was increased up to 93% by the elevated number of genes examined. A significant correlation was found between the expression of MAGE-A and malignancy (p = 0.0001). In addition, multiple MAGE-A detection has also correlated to the incidence of lymph node metastasis, grading and advanced clinical stages.
Conclusions: Analysis of multiple MAGE-A expression is more sensitive than the analysis of a single MAGE-A for the diagnostic evaluation of OSCC. Multiple MAGE-A expression analysis may be a very sensitive method to be used for the diagnosis even in the early stage of OSCC.
PMCID: PMC3834668  PMID: 19893202
Oral squamous cell carcinoma; MAGE-A expression; multiple markers; RT-PCR; diagnosis
23.  Monoclonal antibody MA454 reveals a heterogeneous expression pattern of MAGE-1 antigen in formalin-fixed paraffin embedded lung tumours 
British Journal of Cancer  2000;83(4):493-497.
Cancer/testis (CT) antigens such as those encoded by the MAGE-gene family are expressed in a wide variety of malignant neoplasms. In normal tissues, expression is generally restricted to testis. Current knowledge of the expression pattern of CT antigens is mainly based on mRNA analysis. Little is known about actual protein expression. We previously developed MA454, a monoclonal antibody (mAb) to MAGE-1 recombinant protein. By employing antigen retrieval techniques, we show that MA454 is reactive on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues. Immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis of a normal tissue panel revealed staining solely in germ cells of testes. A series of 59 lung tumours was co-typed for MAGE-1 expression by RT–PCR and by immunohistochemistry with MA454. MA454 was positive in 19/59 cases (32%). MAGE-1 mRNA was found in 17 of the 54 cases (32%) available for RT–PCR. Of the 19 MA454-reactive tumours, 15 showed a highly heterogeneous pattern of expression. The other 4 MA454 positive cases revealed immunoreactivity in >25% of tumour areas. Of the 53 cases typed for both, mRNA and protein expression, 48 co-typed whereas 5 cases were discrepant, a likely consequence of heterogeneous MAGE-1 expression. The predominantly focal expression of MAGE-1 suggests that this antigen might not be sufficient as a sole target for immunotherapeutic approaches. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign
PMCID: PMC2374655  PMID: 10945497
MAGE-1 antigen; monoclonal antibody MA454
24.  MAGE-A inhibits apoptosis in proliferating myeloma cells through repression of Bax and maintenance of survivin 
The type I Melanoma Antigen GEnes (MAGEs) are commonly expressed in cancers, fueling speculation that they may be therapeutic targets with oncogenic potential. They form complexes with RING domain proteins that have E3 ubiquitin ligase activity and promote p53 degradation. MAGE-A3 was detected in tumor specimens from patients with multiple myeloma and its expression correlated with higher frequencies of Ki-67+ malignant cells. In this report, we examine the mechanistic role of MAGE-A in promoting survival of proliferating multiple myeloma cells.
Experimental Design
The impact of MAGE-A3 expression on survival and proliferation in vivo was examined by immunohistochemical analysis in an independent set of tumor specimens segregated into two groups; newly diagnosed, untreated patients and patients who had relapsed after chemotherapy. The mechanisms of MAGE-A3 activity were investigated in vitro by silencing its expression by shRNA interference in myeloma cell lines and primary cells and assessing the resultant effects on proliferation and apoptosis.
MAGE-A3 was detected in a significantly higher percentage of relapsed patients compared to newly diagnosed, establishing a novel correlation with progression of disease. Silencing of MAGE-A demonstrated that it was dispensable for cell cycling, but was required for survival of proliferating myeloma cells. Loss of MAGE-A led to apoptosis mediated by p53-dependent activation of pro-apoptotic Bax expression and by reduction of survivin expression through both p53-dependent and independent mechanisms.
These data support a role for MAGE-A in the pathogenesis and progression of multiple myeloma by inhibiting apoptosis in proliferating myeloma cells through two novel mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC3131419  PMID: 21565982
MAGE; Cancer-Testis Antigen; multiple myeloma; apoptosis; survivin
25.  MAGE, BAGE and GAGE: tumour antigen expression in benign and malignant ovarian tissue. 
British Journal of Cancer  1998;78(6):816-821.
To determine if ovarian cancer patients would be suitable for MAGE-peptide vaccine-based immunotherapy, the frequency of expression of the MAGE-1-4 genes in ovarian tumours was assessed using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and product verification with digoxigenin-labelled oligonucleotide probes specific for each MAGE gene. In addition, the frequency of expression of more recently discovered tumour antigens (BAGE, GAGE -1, -2 and GAGE -3, -6) was established using RT-PCR and ethidium bromide staining. In this study 1/16 normal ovarian tissue specimens and 11/25 benign lesions expressed MAGE-1. In non-malignant tissue there was preferential expression of MAGE-1 in premenopausal women. A total of 15/27 malignant specimens expressed MAGE-1, including 10/14 serous cystadenocarcinomas. Expression of other tumour antigens was infrequent. The finding of MAGE-1 expression in both benign and malignant tissue questions previous assumptions regarding the role of MAGE genes in carcinogenesis. In addition, preferential MAGE-1 gene expression in non-malignant premenopausal tissue suggests that the MAGE genes may be involved in cellular proliferation as opposed to carcinogenesis or possibly that MAGE gene expression is under cyclical hormonal control. Finally, this study indicates that serous cystadenocarcinomas may be suitable tumours for MAGE-1 peptide immunotherapy.
PMCID: PMC2062964  PMID: 9743307

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