Expression of MAGE genes in primary and metastatic cutaneous melanoma

F. Brasseur, D. Rimoldi, D. Lienard, B. Lethe, S. Carrel, F. Arienti, L. Suter, R. Vanwijck, A. Bourlond, Y. Humblet, A. Vacca, M. Conese, T. Lahaye, G. Degiovanni, R. Deraemaecker, M. Beauduin, X. Sastre, E. Salamon, B. Dreno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human genes MAGE-1 and MAGE-3 code for antigens that are recognized on melanoma cells by autologous cytolytic T lymphocytes. These antigens may constitute useful targets for specific anti-tumor immunization of cancer patients, since genes MAGE-1 and MAGE-3 are expressed in a number of tumors of different histological types, but are not expressed in normal adult tissues other than testis. This also applies to genes MAGE-2 and MAGE-4, which are closely related to MAGE-1 and MAGE-3. We have analyzed the expression of these 4 MAGE genes in cutaneous melanoma. Sixteen of 100 primary tumors vs. 69 (48%) of 145 metastases from individual patients expressed MAGE-1. Similar differences in the frequency of gene expression between primary and metastatic tumor samples were observed for MAGE-2, MAGE-3, and MAGE-4. MAGE expression in primary tumors was correlated with tumor thickness: there was a significantly increased frequency in the expression of MAGE-1, -2 and -3 in tumors of greater thickness. Benign and dysplastic nevi, as well as in situ melanomas, did not express any of the 4 MAGE genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-380
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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