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Virchows Arch. 2013 May;462(5):565-74. doi: 10.1007/s00428-013-1395-3. Epub 2013 Mar 26.

Expression of MAGE-C1/CT7 and selected cancer/testis antigens in ovarian borderline tumours and primary and recurrent ovarian carcinomas.

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Institute of Surgical Pathology, University Hospital Zurich, Schmelzbergstrasse 12, 8091, Zurich, Switzerland.


MAGE-C1/CT7, NY-ESO-1, GAGE and MAGE-A4 are members of the cancer/testis (CT) antigen family, which have been proposed as potential targets for cancer immunotherapy. To determine the prevalence and biologic relevance of the novel CT antigen MAGE-C1/CT7 and other antigens, 36 ovarian borderline tumours (BTs), 230 primary ovarian carcinomas (OCs) and 80 recurrent OCs were immunohistochemically analysed using the monoclonal antibodies CT7-33 (MAGE-C1/CT7), E978 (NY-ESO-1), clone 26 (GAGE) and 57B (MAGE-A4). Positivity of at least one CT antigen was present in 39.5 % (81/205) of primary OC and in 50 % (26/52) of all recurrences. Expression of the novel CT antigen MAGE-C1/CT7 was most commonly seen with positivity in 24.5 % of primary and 35.1 % of recurrent OC. MAGE-A4, GAGE and NY-ESO-1 expressions were seen in 22.7, 13.9 and 7.1 % of primary and 22.6, 17.5 and 8.9 % of recurrent OC, respectively. Analysis of histological subtypes (serous, endometrioid, clear cell, mucinous and transitional) exhibited variable expression with negativity in all mucinous OC. High-grade serous OC revealed CT antigen expression in 5.6 to 28 % with MAGE-C1/CT7 being the most frequent, but without correlation with stage or overall survival. MAGE-C1/CT7 expression and coexpression of CT antigens were significantly correlated with grade of endometrioid OC. None of the BT showed CT antigen expression. No significant correlation was seen with stage, overall survival or response to chemotherapy. In summary, CT antigens are expressed in a certain subset of OC with no expression in BT or OC of mucinous histology. These findings may have implications for the design of polyvalent vaccination strategies for ovarian carcinomas.

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