Expression of cancer/testis antigens MAGE‑A, MAGE‑C1, GAGE and CTAG1B in benign and malignant thyroid diseases
- Daniel Hardy Melo
- Rui Celso Martins Mamede
- Luciano Neder
- Wilson Araújo Silva
- Mateus Camargo Barros‑Filho
- Luiz Paulo Kowalski
- Clóvis Antonio Lopes Pinto
- Marco Antônio Zago
- David Livingstone Alves Figueiredo
- Achim A. Jungbluth
Published online on: September 26, 2017
Copyright: © Melo et al.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.
Despite considerable advances in the understanding of thyroid gland biology, correctly diagnosing thyroid nodules and treating high‑grade thyroid carcinoma remains challenging. Cancer/testis (CT) antigens have emerged as potential diagnostic tools as well as targets of potential cancer vaccinations. In the present study, a total of 117 patients who underwent surgical therapy for thyroid disease were available for analysis. The expression levels of melanoma‑associated antigen (MAGE) A, MAGE‑C1/CT7, cancer/testis antigen 1B (CTAG1B) and G antigen (GAGE) were analyzed by immunohistochemistry. None of the CT antigens were expressed in the normal thyroid or goiter. In papillary and follicular carcinoma, MAGE‑A was present in 8.1% of cases, GAGE in 10.8% and CT/7MAGE‑C1 and CTAG1B in 2.7% each. In medullary carcinoma, CT antigen expression was as follows: MAGE‑A in 42.9% of patients; MAGE‑C1/CT7 in 46.5%; GAGE in 92.9%; and CTAG1B in 3.6%. A statistically significant association was observed between the expression of G MAGE‑C1/CT7 and patient gender as well as patient clinical stage (P=0.029 and 0.031, respectively). In poorly differentiated and anaplastic carcinoma cases, CT antigen expression was as follows: MAGE‑A in 61.8% of cases; MAGE‑C1 in 57.1%; GAGE in 66.7%; and CTAG1B in 14.4%. There was a statistically significant association between expression of GAGE and gender (P=0.043). However, there was no association between CT antigen expression and patient survival in any of the tumor entities analyzed. The current study identified a distinct expression pattern of CT antigens in malignant thyroid tumors indicating that CT antigens have the potential to outperform existing thyroid cancer biomarkers. The prevalence of CT antigens in high‑grade carcinomas suggests that they serve an important biological role within malignant tumors.