Expression and immunogenicity of NY-ESO-1 in hepatocellular carcinoma

Shinichiro Nakamura, Kazuhiro Nouso, Yuji Noguchi, Toshihiro Higashi, Toshiro Ono, Achim Jungbluth, Yao Tseng Chen, Lloyd J. Old, Eiichi Nakayama, Yasushi Shiratori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Aim: The present study was designed to investigate the expression of and humoral response against NY-ESO-1 in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and to analyze the relationship between expression of NY-ESO-1 mRNA and clinicopathological features. Methods: NY-ESO-1 mRNA and protein expression in surgically resected hepatocellular carcinoma specimens, adjacent non-cancerous liver and non-tumor bearing liver were examined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical staining using a monoclonal antibody against NY-ESO-1 (ES121), respectively. The antibody response to NY-ESO-1 was examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using recombinant NY-ESO-1 protein. Results: NY-ESO-1 mRNA was detected in 18 of 41 (43.9%) hepatocellular carcinomas. No NY-ESO-1 mRNA was expressed in 41 paired non-cancerous specimens and 18 specimens histologically diagnosed as liver cirrhosis or chronic hepatitis. Immunohistochemistry revealed heterogeneous expression of NY-ESO-1 protein in three of 18 NY-ESO-1 mRNA-positive hepatocellular carcinomas. None of 23 NY-ESO-1 mRNA-negative hepatocellular carcinomas expressed NY-ESO-1 protein. Antibody against NY-ESO-1 protein was detected in two of 92 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. Both of these patients had tumors invading main branches of the portal vein. Conclusions: The present study has demonstrated the expression of NY-ESO-1 mRNA in hepatocellular carcinoma and NY-ESO-1 antibody production in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. Although the enhancement of NY-ESO-1 protein expression and the activation of immune response of the patients with hepatocellular carcinoma are necessary, NY-ESO-1 has the potential to be a good target molecule for immunotherapy against advanced hepatocellular carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1281-1285
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer/ testis antigens
  • Human
  • Immunotherapy
  • Liver
  • Neoplasm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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