Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 11, Issue 10, pp 934–940 | Cite as

Expression of Cancer-Testis Antigen (CTA) Genes in Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma

  • Tohru Utsunomiya
  • Hiroshi Inoue
  • Fumiaki Tanaka
  • Hiroshi Yamaguchi
  • Mitsuhiko Ohta
  • Masahiro Okamoto
  • Koshi Mimori
  • Masaki Mori
Original Article


Background:Cancer-testis antigens (CTA), such as MAGE, are selectively expressed in various types of human neoplasms but not in normal tissues other than testis. This characteristic feature of CTA makes them promising antigens for cancer-specific immunotherapy.

Methods: We investigated the expression of five genes, including MAGE-1, MAGE-3, NY-ESO-1, SCP-1, and SSX-4, in 20 surgical samples of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas (IHCC) using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. To visualize the localization of MAGE proteins, we performed immunohistochemical studies. Furthermore, the correlation between the CTA expression and DNA methylation status was studied in three bile duct cancer cell lines.

Results: Expression of MAGE-1, MAGE-3, NY-ESO-1, SCP-1, and SSX-4 was recognized in 4, 4, 2, 6, and 3 of all 20 cases, respectively. In contrast, the expressions of five genes were not recognized at all in the corresponding normal tissues. In 10 cases (50%), the tumors expressed at least one of the five CTA. An immunohistochemical analysis of MAGE proteins demonstrated homogenous or focal distributions in cytoplasm of the IHCC. Using a demethylating agent, MAGE-1, NY-ESO-1, SCP-1, and SSX-4 were induced in two of three cell lines, whereas MAGE-3 was not.

Conclusions: Half of the tumor tissues of IHCC expressed at least one of the CTA. Some of the patients with IHCC, therefore, should be candidates for potentially useful cancer-specific immunotherapy.

Key Words:

MAGE Cancer-testis antigen Immunotherapy Cancer vaccine Cholangiocarcinoma 


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Copyright information

© The Society of Surgical Oncology, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tohru Utsunomiya
    • 1
  • Hiroshi Inoue
    • 1
  • Fumiaki Tanaka
    • 1
  • Hiroshi Yamaguchi
    • 1
  • Mitsuhiko Ohta
    • 1
  • Masahiro Okamoto
    • 1
  • Koshi Mimori
    • 1
  • Masaki Mori
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Medical Institute of BioregulationKyushu UniversityBeppuJapan
  2. 2.Department of Surgery, Medical Institute of BioregulationKyushu UniversityBeppuJapan

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