The prevalence of expression of MAGE-A3 and PRAME tumor antigens in East and South East Asian non-small cell lung cancer patients

Lung Cancer. 2016 Nov:101:137-144. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2016.09.006. Epub 2016 Oct 5.


Introduction: Treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is an important and often unmet medical need regardless of the disease stage at the time of first diagnosis. Antigen-specific immunotherapy may be a feasible therapeutic option if tumor associated antigens (TAAs) that can be targeted by the patient's immune system are identified. The study objective (NCT01837511) was to investigate the expression rates of MAGE-A3 and PRAME in tumors from East Asian NSCLC patients, and the associations between TAA expression and clinico-pathologic patient characteristics.

Methods: Archived formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor tissue specimens were tested for MAGE-A3 and PRAME expression by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Exploratory analyses of the impact of patient and tumor characteristics on antigen expression were performed by multivariate logistic regression analyses.

Results: A total of 377 specimens were tested and a valid expression result was obtained for 86.5% and 92.6% for MAGE-A3 and PRAME, respectively. Of the specimens with valid test results, 26.4% expressed MAGE-A3, 49.9% PRAME, 20.0% both and 57.5% expressed at least one TAA. The same pattern of associations between antigen expression and patient and tumor characteristics was found for both TAAs: higher rates of antigen-positive tumors were found in squamous cell carcinomas compared to adenocarcinomas, and for smokers compared to non-smokers.

Conclusions: Expression of MAGE-A3 and PRAME suggests an association with tumor histology and the patient's smoking status. The rates of TAA-positive tumors found in these East and South East Asian NSCLC patients indicate that both antigens may serve as targets for antigen-specific immunotherapies.

Keywords: Antigen-specific cancer immunotherapy; MAGE-A3 antigen; Non-small cell lung cancer; PRAME antigen; Tumor-associated antigens.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / metabolism*
  • Asia, Eastern / epidemiology
  • Asia, Southeastern / epidemiology
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prevalence*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Smoking / epidemiology


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • MAGEA3 protein, human
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • PRAME protein, human

Associated data