Synovial sarcoma (SS) is regarded as a relatively chemosensitive sarcoma, but the prognosis of advanced SSs remains poor. Here we identified highly expressed cancer-testis antigens that could be promising immunotherapy targets for SS, using a previously conducted cDNA microarray, and we assessed the clinicopathological or prognostic relationships of these antigens in SS. We compared the gene expression profiles of 11 SSs with those of 3 normal adipose tissues. Among the up-regulated cancer-testis antigens, we analyzed PRAME, MAGEA1, and MAGEA4 and another cancer-testis antigen (NY-ESO-1) together, by immunohistochemistry and real-time polymerase chain reaction in 108 SSs. Immunohistochemically, NY-ESO-1, PRAME, MAGEA4, and MAGEA1 were positive in 66 (61%), 93 (86%), 89 (82%), and 16 (15%) of 108 SSs, respectively, and 104 (96%) of 108 SSs showed the immunohistochemical expression of at least 1 of NY-ESO-1, PRAME, and MAGEA4. Moreover, the high expression of at least 1 of these 3 antigens was observed in 83% of the SSs. High expression of NY-ESO-1 and MAGEA4 was significantly correlated with the presence of necrosis and advanced clinical stage. The immunohistochemical expression of these cancer-testis antigens was not correlated with prognosis, but the coexpression of NY-ESO-1, PRAME, and MAGEA4 was significantly associated with adverse prognosis. The real-time polymerase chain reaction results were closely related to the immunohistochemical results: NY-ESO-1 (P = .0019), PRAME (P = .039), MAGEA4 (P = .0149), and MAGEA1 (P = .0766). These data support the potential utility of NY-ESO-1, PRAME, and MAGEA4 as immunotherapy targets and ancillary prognostic parameters, suggesting the possible benefit of the combined use of these cancer-testis antigens as an SS immunotherapy target.
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