MAGE-A proteins constitute a sub-family of Cancer-Testis Antigens which are expressed mainly, but not exclusively, in germ cells. They are also expressed in various human cancers where they are associated with, and may drive, malignancy. MAGE-A proteins are highly immunogenic and are considered as potential targets for cancer vaccines and/or immuno-therapy. Moreover, recent advances in our understanding of their molecular pathology have revealed interactions that offer potential as therapeutic targets. Here we review recent progress in this area and consider how these interactions might be exploited, especially for the treatment of malignant cancers for which available treatments are inadequate.
"MAGE - A and their epitope peptides constitute important targets for anti - tumour immunotherapy . Their strict expression on the surface of malignant cells has led to several immuno - therapeutic trials targeting some of these members ( Sang et al , 2011 ; Meek and Marcar , 2012 ) . Thus , the detection of the elevated levels of MAGE - A1 , - A2 and - A3 in the blood of breast cancer patients could become a blood - based tool for early cancer diagnosis and a potential predictive biomarker for MAGE - directed immu - notherapies . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
MAGE-A (melanoma-associated antigen-A) are promising targets for specific immunotherapy and their expression may be induced by the epigenetic factor BORIS.
To determine their relevance for breast cancer, we quantified the levels of MAGE-A1, -A2, -A3, -A12 and BORIS mRNA, as well as microRNAs let-7b and miR-202 in pre- and postoperative serum of 102 and 34 breast cancer patients, respectively, and in serum of 26 patients with benign breast diseases and 37 healthy women by real-time PCR. The mean follow-up time of the cancer patients was 6.2 years.
The serum levels of MAGE-A and BORIS mRNA, as well as let-7b were significantly higher in patients with invasive carcinomas than in patients with benign breast diseases or healthy women (P<0.001), whereas the levels of miR-202 were elevated in both patient cohorts (P<0.001). In uni- and multivariate analyses, high levels of miR-202 significantly correlated with poor overall survival (P=0.0001). Transfection of breast cancer cells with synthetic microRNAs and their inhibitors showed that let-7b and miR-202 did not affect the protein expression of MAGE-A1.
Based on their cancer-specific increase in breast cancer patients, circulating MAGE-A and BORIS mRNAs may be further explored for early detection of breast cancer and monitoring of MAGE-directed immunotherapies. Moreover, serum miR-202 is associated with prognosis.
British Journal of Cancer 07/2014; 111(5). DOI:10.1038/bjc.2014.360 · 4.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dendritic cells (DCs) occupy a central position in the immune system, orchestrating a wide repertoire of responses that span from the development of self-tolerance to the elicitation of potent cellular and humoral immunity. Accordingly, DCs are involved in the etiology of conditions as diverse as infectious diseases, allergic and autoimmune disorders, graft rejection and cancer. During the last decade, several methods have been developed to load DCs with tumor-associated antigens, ex vivo or in vivo, in the attempt to use them as therapeutic anticancer vaccines that would elicit clinically relevant immune responses. While this has not always been the case, several clinical studies have demonstrated that DC-based anticancer vaccines are capable of activating tumor-specific immune responses that increase overall survival, at least in a subset of patients. In 2010, this branch of clinical research has culminated with the approval by FDA of a DC-based therapeutic vaccine (sipuleucel-T, Provenge(®)) for use in patients with asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic metastatic hormone-refractory prostate cancer. Intense research efforts are currently dedicated to the identification of the immunological features of patients that best respond to DC-based anticancer vaccines. This knowledge may indeed lead to personalized combination strategies that would extend the benefit of DC-based immunotherapy to a larger patient population. In addition, widespread enthusiasm has been generated by the results of the first clinical trials based on in vivo DC targeting, an approach that holds great promises for the future of DC-based immunotherapy. In this Trial Watch, we will summarize the results of recently completed clinical trials and discuss the progress of ongoing studies that have evaluated/are evaluating DC-based interventions for cancer therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prevention of cancer remains the most promising strategy for reducing both its incidence and the mortality due to this disease. For more than four decades, findings from epidemiology, basic research and clinical trials have informed the development of lifestyle and medical approaches to cancer prevention. These include selective oestrogen receptor modulators and aromatase inhibitors for breast cancer, the 5-α-reductase inhibitors finasteride and dutasteride for prostate cancer, and the development of vaccines for viruses that are associated with specific cancers. Future directions include genetic, proteomic and other molecular approaches for identifying pathways that are associated with cancer initiation and development, as well as refining the search for immunologically modifiable causes of cancer.
Nature Reviews Cancer 11/2012; 12(12). DOI:10.1038/nrc3397 · 37.40 Impact Factor
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