Identification of epithelial cell adhesion molecule autoantibody in patients with ovarian cancer.

The epithelial cell adhesion molecule (Ep-CAM) exhibited an ovarian cancer:normal human ovarian surface epithelium ratio of 444. For validation studies, real-time quantitative PCR analysis and immunohistochemistry were performed in normal and malignant ovarian epithelial cell lines and tissues. To evaluate the potential of the Ep-CAM autoantibody as a tumor marker, we examined the amount of Ep-CAM autoantibody in serum samples obtained from ovarian cancer patients and normal controls by an ELISA. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis revealed significant overexpression of Ep-CAM mRNA in cancer cell lines (P < 0.001) and microdissected cancer tissues (P < 0.05), compared with that in cultured normal human ovarian surface epithelium and microdissected germinal epithelium, respectively. Immunolocalization of the Ep-CAM autoantibody showed that the sera of ovarian cancer patients expressed higher levels of Ep-CAM autoantibody than benign tumor patients and normal controls (P < 0.05). The levels of Ep-CAM autoantibody found were as follows: 0.132 in 52 patients with ovarian cancer, 0.098 in 26 cases with benign gynecologic disease, and 0.090 in 26 normal women. This investigation has shown that the Ep-CAM autoantibody was found to be associated with ovarian cancer and suggested that future research assessing its clinical usefulness would be worthwhile.

Berkowitz RS, Cramer DW, Herlyn D, Kim JH, Lu KH, Mok SC, Park DC, Schorge JO, Skates SJ, Wong KK


Clin. Cancer Res., 2003, 9 (13)

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