Are So-Called Cancer-Testis Genes Expressed Only in Testis?


Cancer-testis (CT) antigens are a group of tumor-associated antigens with restricted expression in normaltissues except for testis and expression in a wide variety of tumor tissues. This pattern of expression makes themsuitable targets for immunotherapy as well as potential biomarkers for early detection of cancer. However,some genes attributed to this family are now known to be expressed in other normal tissues which put theirpotential applications in immunotherapy and cancer detection under question. Here we analyzed expression oftwo previously known CT antigens, RHOXF2 and PIWIL2, in AML patients versus normal donors and foundno significant difference in the expression of these genes between the two groups. As these two genes showedexpression in normal leukocytes, their expression pattern seems to be wider than to be attributed to the CT genefamily. Future research should focus on the expression profiles of so called CT antigens to find those with moretestis specific expression.