MAGE-A10 cancer/testis antigen is highly expressed in high grade non muscle invasive bladder carcinomas
Mengus C, Schultz-Thater E, Coulot J, Kastelan Z, Goluza E, Coric M, Spagnoli GC, Hudolin T. Int J Cancer. 2012 Nov 5. doi: 10.1002/ijc.27914. [Epub ahead of print]


ICFS, Departments of Surgery and Biomedicine, Basel University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland.


Bladder cancer is a common urinary malignancy and a prevalent cause of cancer related death. Current therapies of early stage non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) are frequently associated with undesirable toxicities and recurrence. Active antigen specific immunotherapy may provide a valid therapeutic option for patients with NMIBC. Cancer-testis antigens (CTA) expressed in various tumour types and in a limited range of healthy tissues may represent potential targets for specific immunotherapy. MAGE-A10 is probably the most immunogenic antigen of the MAGE-A family. We evaluated the expression of MAGE-A10 in NMIBC. Seventy-nine patients undergoing surgical treatment for NMIBC were enrolled in the study. MAGE-A10 gene expression was assessed by qRT-PCR. Immunohistochemistry was performed on paraffin embedded sections. MAGE-A10 gene was specifically expressed in one third of NMIBC (n=24: 32.43%). Gene expression was correlated with high tumour grade. MAGE-A10 protein was exclusively detectable in nuclei of tumour cells. More importantly, MAGE-A10 protein was also more frequently detectable in high grade tumours (p=0.0001) and in stage T1 tumours invading subepithelial tissue or lamina propria (p=0.01). A strong correlation between MAGE-A10 staining score and tumour grade and stage could accordingly be observed. These data indicate that MAGE-A10 expression is a feature of aggressive NMIBC and might be used as a novel target for specific immunotherapy of these cancers.