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The tumour-associated antigen MAGE-1 is detectable in formalin-fixed paraffin sections of malignant melanoma

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The MAGE-1 gene encodes a protein encompassing a HLA-A1-restricted target epitope for cytolytic T lymphocytes. Monoclonal antibodies directed against the MAGE-1 protein were tested for usage in immunohistology of routine pathology material. Seven formalinfixed, paraffin-embedded malignant melanomas were studied by the Avidin-Biotin complex (ABC) method with or without different antigen retrieval methods. Native, frozen tissues from the same tumours were used to validate the results by immunohistochemistry on frozen sections, by PCR for mRNA and by protein demonstration in tissue extracts using western blotting. Of 4 monoclonal antibodies tested, mAB 34B and mAB 77B were highly efficient in detecting MAGE-1 protein in deparaffinised sections with the regular ABC method after microwave pretreatment. In a series of an additional 28 patients 75% expressed MAGE-1, 50% in a substantial proportion. Follow-up studies in 6 patients indicate that the expression pattern remains stable but may change substantially within a short range. Immunohistology is thus a rapid and well-established method that might be used to select and monitor HLA-A1 positive patients with malignant melanoma and other candidate tumours for MAGE-1-directed immuno-therapy.

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Correspondence to F. Gudat.

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Gudat, F., Dürmüller, U., Zuber, M. et al. The tumour-associated antigen MAGE-1 is detectable in formalin-fixed paraffin sections of malignant melanoma. Vichows Archiv A Pathol Anat 429, 77–81 (1996).

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Key words

  • Malignant melanoma
  • MAGE-1
  • Immunohistology
  • Tumour antigen
  • Tumour markers
  • Biological immunology