Human esophageal carcinomas frequently express the tumor‐rejection antigens of MAGE genes

Hiroshi Inoue, Masaki Mori, Jian Li, Koshi Mimori, Masayuki Honda, Hideaki Nakashima, Ken‐Ichi ‐I Mafune, Youichi Tanaka, Tsuyoshi Akiyoshi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


Thde human genes MAGE‐1 and ‐3 encode melanoma peptide antigens that are recognized bhd autologous cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Tumors expressing MAGE genes are potential targets for cancer immunotherapy, because MAGE genes are expressed only in tumor tissue and not in any normal tissue except testis and placenta. However, little is known about MAGE gene expression in human esophageal carcinoma. The purpose of this study was therefore to analyze MAGE gene status in human esophageal carcinoma. We studied the expression status of these genes in 42 surgical samples and in 12 cell lines of human esophageal carcinoma using the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT‐PCR). Various clinicopathological factors were also analyzed. No MAGE gene expression was seen in any of the 42 normal esophageal tissue specimens. In contrast, tumor tissue expressed MAGE‐1, ‐2, and ‐3 in 26, 18 and 24 specimens, respectively. Thirty‐three of 42 tumors expressed at least one MAGE gene. Significant clinicopathologic differences between the tumors were not observed, regardless of the presence or absence of MAGE gene expression. In cell lines, MAGE‐1, ‐2, and ‐3 gene expression was recognized in 5, 4 and 4 cell lines, respectively. This study demonstrates that MAGE genes are frequently expressed in clinical samples as well as in cell lines of esophageal carcinoma. The identification of MAGE genes, therefore, may open up a new modality of treatment, namely specific immunotherapy, for patients with esophageal carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-526
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 15 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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