Minimal Residual Disease in Neuroblastoma: To GAGE or not to GAGE

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Abstract:

We assessed the utility of GAGE gene expression as a marker of minimal residual disease (MRD) in neuroblastoma. The GAGE gene family shows a high degree of homology (>90%), clustering into two subgroups. GAGE-1, -2, and -8 form one subset, almost identical among themselves, while GAGE-3 to -7 constitute the other subset. The entire GAGE family (GAGE-1–8) was studied by RT-PCR followed by Southern blotting to increase both the sensitivity and specificity of the technique. Surprisingly, expression of GAGE was detected in 59% of peripheral blood samples from normal controls (20/35) as well as in a similar proportion from neuroblastoma patients with localized disease (stages 1 and 2). The study of GAGE-1, -2, and -8 with specific primers lowered this percentage to 28% (10/35), of which only two (6%) showed a high level of expression (directly visualized after RT-PCR). We conclude that GAGE genes can show a variable, usually low level of illegitimate expression in normal blood cells, and therefore their use as MRD markers should be taken with caution.

Keywords: Micrometastasis; Minimal residual disease; Molecular marker; RT-PCR

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/096504003773994824

Affiliations: 1: *Unidad de Genética, Hospital Universitario La Fe, Valencia, Spain 2: †Unidad de Oncología Pediátrica, Hospital Universitario La Fe, Valencia, Spain

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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  • Formerly: Oncology Research Incorporating Anti-Cancer Drug Design
    Oncology Research Featuring Preclinical and Clincal Cancer Therapeutics publishes research of the highest quality that contributes to an understanding of cancer in areas of molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry, biophysics, genetics, biology, endocrinology, and immunology, as well as studies on the mechanism of action of carcinogens and therapeutic agents, reports dealing with cancer prevention and epidemiology, and clinical trials delineating effective new therapeutic regimens.
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