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Pathol Int. 2004 Mar;54(3):181-6.

Expression of MAGE-A3 in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and its precursor lesions.

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Department of Human Pathology, Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medicine, Kanazawa, Japan.


MAGE-A3 antigen is known to be neo-expressed in a large proportion of tumors but not detectable in normal tissues, and could be a target antigen recognized by autologous cytotoxic T lymphocytes. In the present study, the expression of MAGE-A3 at protein and mRNA levels was examined in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) and its precursor lesions. Carcinomatous and dysplastic biliary cells expressed MAGE-A3 in their cytoplasm diffusely, although there was no MAGE-A3 expression in normal and hyperplastic biliary cells. MAGE-A3 was expressed in one of 10 cases (10%) of low-grade dysplasia, four of 13 (31%) cases of high-grade dysplasia/in situ carcinoma, and 32 of 68 invasive ICC cases (47%), respectively. The MAGE-A3 mRNA expression pattern was similar to that of MAGE-A3 protein. The incidence and intensity of MAGE-A3 expression increased along the progression of biliary neoplasia (P < 0.05). There was no correlation between MAGE-3 expression and histological differentiation or anatomical locations of invasive ICC. MAGE-A3 is a promising target molecule for the specific immunotherapy of ICC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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