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Blood. 1999 Aug 15;94(4):1156-64.

Genes encoding tumor-specific antigens are expressed in human myeloma cells.

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  • 1Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Brussels, Belgium.


Genes of the MAGE, BAGE, GAGE, and LAGE-1/NY-ESO-1 families encode antigenic peptides that are presented by HLA class I molecules and that are recognized on human tumors by autologous cytolytic T lymphocytes. These genes are expressed in many solid tumor types but not in normal tissues, except male germline cells. Because the latter cells are devoid of HLA molecules, the derived antigens are strictly tumor-specific and should constitute safe immunogens for cancer immunotherapy. We detected a significant expression of these genes in a high proportion of bone marrow samples from patients with advanced multiple myeloma. This observation provides a basis for clinical trials aimed at inducing a cellular immune response directed at malignant plasma cells in advanced myeloma patients.

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