Autoantibodies against tumor-associated antigens in the early detection of lung cancer.


Autoantibodies against tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) identified in patients with advanced lung cancer may be detected in subjects with early lung cancer or even predate the diagnosis. The purpose of this study is to address the temporal relationship between lung cancer development and serum autoantibody response.

Two cohorts of patients with newly diagnosed lung cancer were included. The first cohort included 90 sera from patients with lung cancer (Stages I-III) and 89 normal control sera. In the second cohort, 93 serial serum samples from 25 patients with CT-scan screen-detected stage I lung cancer were collected before the diagnosis of lung cancer (average 32 months) and 56 controls were matched on age, gender, and smoking. Autoantibody levels were measured by immunoassay.

Measurement of autoantibodies against seven TAAs (14-3-3ζ, c-Myc, MDM2, NPM1, p16, p53 and cyclin B1) individually could discriminate lung cancer patients from normal individuals in the first cohort and the area under curve (AUC) was 0.863 based on a panel of seven autoantibodies, with sensitivity of 68.9% and specificity of 79.5%. Autoantibodies in serial pre-diagnostic serum samples against the same panel of seven TAAs were detected prior to lung cancer diagnosis with sensitivity of 76.0% and specificity of 73.2% (AUC) (95%CI): 0.885 (0.797-0.973)). Elevated autoantibody levels could be detected greater than four years prior to lung cancer diagnosis.

A panel of seven TAAs may enhance the early detection of lung cancer, consistent with a humoral immune response to TAAs that can be detected months to years prior to the diagnosis.

  • Dai L
  • Li J
  • Munger JS
  • Pass H
  • Rom WN
  • Tan EM
  • Tsay JC
  • Yie TA
  • Zhang JY
  • Zhang Y
PubMed ID
Appears In
Lung Cancer, 2016, 99