Autoantibodies against tumor associated antigens are highly related to cancer progression. Autoantibodies could serve as indicators of tumor burden, and have the potential to monitor the response of treatment and tumor recurrence. However, how the autoantibody repertoire changes in response to cancer treatment are largely unknown.
Sera of five lung adenocarcinoma patients before and after surgery, were collected longitudinally. These sera were analyzed on a human proteome microarray of 20,240 recombinant proteins to acquire dynamic autoantibody repertoire in response to surgery, as well as to identify the antigens with decreased antibody response after tumor excision or surgery, named as surgery-associated antigens. The identified candidate antigens were then used to construct focused microarray and validated by longitudinal sera collected from a variety of time points of the same patient and a larger cohort of 45 sera from lung adenocarcinoma patients.
The autoantibody profiles are highly variable among patients. Meanwhile, the autoantibody profiles of the sera from the same patient were surprisingly stable for at least 3 months after surgery. Six surgery-associated antigens were identified and validated. All the five patients have at least one surgery-associated antigen, demonstrating this type of biomarkers is prevalent, while specific antigens are poorly shared among individuals. The prevalence of each antigen is 2%-14% according to the test with a larger cohort.
To our knowledge, this is the first study of dynamically profiling of autoantibody repertoires before/after surgery of cancer patients. The high prevalence of surgery-associated antigens implies the possible broad application for monitoring of tumor recurrence in population, while the low prevalence of specific antigens allows personalized medicine. After the accumulation and analysis of more longitudinal samples, the surgery-associated serum biomarkers, combined as a panel, may be applied to alarm the recurrence of tumor in a personalized manner.
Research supported by grants from National Key Research and Development Program of China Grant (No. 2016YFA0500600), National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31970130, 31600672, 31670831, and 31370813), Open Foundation of Key Laboratory of Systems Biomedicine (No. KLSB2017QN-01), Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality Medical Guidance Science &Technology Support Project (16411966100), Shanghai Municipal Education Commission-Gaofeng Clinical Medicine Grant Support (20172005), Shanghai Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning Outstanding Academic Leaders Training Program (2017BR055) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (81871882).

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