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Disease Markers
Volume 24, Issue 1, Pages 27-32

Expression of MAGE-A12 in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Nur Mollaoglu,1,2 Eleftherios Vairaktaris,3 Emeka Nkenke,1 Friedrich W. Neukam,1 and Jutta Ries1

1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Friedrich- Alexander University of Erlangen/Nuremberg, Glückstrasse 11, 91054, Erlangen, Germany
2Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Gazi University, School of Dentistry, Emek 8.Cadde, 82.sokak, No:4, 06510, Ankara, Turkey
3Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Athens Medical School, Attikon Hospital, Rimini 1, GR 12462, Greece

Received 21 November 2007; Accepted 21 November 2007

Copyright © 2008 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.


Melanoma associated-A antigens (MAGE-A) are silent in normal tissues except testis. However, they are activated in a variety of different tumors. Thus, their expression is highly specific to cancer cells. Reverse transcription-nested polymerase chain reaction (RT-nPCR) is a highly sensitive technique that has been used successfully for the detection ofMAGE genes in tissue samples. The aim of the study is to analyze the expression rate of MAGE-A12 in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) using a high sensitive RT-nPCR. Total of 57 tissue samples obtained from patients with OSCC and 20 normal oral mucosal (NOM) probes of otherwise healthy volunteers were included to this study. No expression of MAGE-A12 was observed in the non-neoplastic NOM tissues. MAGE-A12 was expressed in 49.1% of the investigated tumor samples. The correlation between malignant lesion and MAGE-A12 detection was significant (p < 0.001). It is concluded that results of this study may indicate MAGE-A12 as a useful additional diagnostic marker especially for the early detection of OSCC distinguishing neoplastic transformation and detection of occult and/or rare disseminated cancer cells. In addition, MAGE-A12 expression in OSCC may also determine a new immunotherapeutic target and might be warranted to develop vaccine for OSCC.