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BMB Reports  2012 

Tumor-associated autoantibodies as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers

Keywords: Biomarker , Diagnostic , Prognostic , Tumor-associated autoantibody , Tumor-associated autoantigen

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In the process of tumorigenesis, normal cells are remodeled to cancer cells and protein expression patterns are changed to those of tumor cells. A newly formed tumor microenvironment elicits the immune system and, as a result, a humoral immune response takes place. Although the tumor antigens are undetectable in sera at the early stage of tumorigenesis, the nature of an antibody amplification response to antigens makes tumor-associated autoantibodies as promising early biomarkers in cancer diagnosis. Moreover, the recent development of proteomic techniques that make neo-epitopes of tumor-associated autoantigens discovered concomitantly has opened a new area of ‘immuno-proteomics’, which presents tumor-associated autoantibody signatures and confers information to redefine the process of tumorigenesis. In this article, the strategies recently used to identify and validate serum autoantibodies are outlined and tumor-associated antigens suggested until now as diagnostic/prognostic biomarkers in various tumor types are reviewed. Also, the meaning of autoantibody signatures and their clinical utility in personalized medicine are discussed.


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