PURPOSE: A humoral immune response in the form of autoantibodies to tumour associated antigens had been reported in individuals with evidence of solid tumours and in some cases up to 5 years before the cancer presented clinically. These antibodies may therefore represent the earliest marker of carcinogenesis. Autoantibodies have been shown to be present in the circulation of individuals with lung cancer. To our knowledge this is the first large study specifically looking at individuals with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) compared with age and smoking matched control sera.
METHODS: Serum from patients with SCLC (n=242), as well as age, sex and smoking matched normal control sera, were investigated for the presence of autoantibodies to the tumour-associated antigens: p53, CAGE, NY-ESO-1, GBU4-5, Annexin I, SOX2 and Hu-D by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
RESULTS: Elevated levels of autoantibodies were seen to at least 1 of 6 antigens in 55% of all the SCLC patient sera tested, with a specificity of 90%, or 43% at a specificity of 99%. Individual autoantibodies were raised in up to 34% of all samples at an individual antigen specificity of at least 97%. There was no significant difference between the detection rates in the clinical subgroups (with 50% being elevated in Stage 1A) or by age or gender.
CONCLUSION: Measuring an autoantibody response to one or more tumour-associated antigens can act as a marker of disease and could provide a sensitive and specific blood test to aid the early detection of SCLC for high-risk individuals.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Measuring an autoantibody response to one or more tumour-associated antigens can act as a marker of disease and could provide a sensitive and specific blood test to aid the early detection of SCLC for high-risk individuals.
DISCLOSURE: Caroline Chapman, Shareholder J Robertson is a shareholder in Oncimmune Ltd; Employee A Murray and C Parsy-Kowalska are employees of Oncimmune Ltd; Consultant fee, speaker bureau, advisory committee, etc. C Chapman consults for Oncimmune Ltd; No Product/Research Disclosure Information