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Disease Markers
Volume 17, Issue 2, Pages 41-48

Using Serial Analysis of Gene Expression to Identify Tumor Markers and Antigens

Gregory J. Riggins

Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA

Received 20 September 2001; Accepted 20 September 2001

Copyright © 2001 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Tumor markers and antigens are normally highly expressed in malignant tissue, but not in the surrounding normal tissue. Serial Analysis of Gene Expression (SAGE) is a technology that counts mRNA transcripts and can be used to find those genes most highly induced in malignant tissues. SAGE produces a comprehensive profile of gene expression and can be used to search for tumor biomarkers in a limited number of samples. Public sources of SAGE data, in particular through the Cancer Genome Anatomy Project, increase the value of this technology by making a large source of information on many tumors and normal tissues available for comparison. Although the perfect tumor-specific gene does not exist, the differences in gene expression between tumor and normal can be exploited for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes.