Tumor associated antigens (TAAs) have shown potential in the detection of cancers, but low sensitivity hampers their usefulness. We sought to discover whether an array of TAAs might improve autoantibody detection, and make them a more useful diagnostic tool.
A panel of TAAs, including Imp1, p62, Koc, p53, C-myc, Cyclin B1, Survivin, and p16 full-length recombinant proteins, was used to test sera from 304 cancer patients and 58 normal individuals, by enzyme-linked immunoassay and western blotting.
The frequency of autoantibodies to a single TAA varied according to the type of cancer, yet generally remained below 20%. Successive addition of TAAs led to a stepwise increase, the degree of which varied between types of cancer, but the combined mini-array of 8 TAAs produced a frequency of between 56.1% and 66.0% for cancers and only 13.8% in serum from healthy individuals.
Our results support the hypothesis that using a combined mini-array can further enhance the immunodiagnosis of cancer based on the detection of anti-TAA antibodies. The design of specific TAA arrays for different types of cancer may lead to better sensitivity rates, and it may even be possible to use such panels for early detection in high-risk individuals.