1975 - 1995 Revised anti-cancer serological response: Biological significance and clinical implications

S. Canevari, S. M. Pupa, S. Ménard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the 1970s a considerable amount of work was carried out in an attempt to identify an anti-tumor serological response in cancer patients. These analyses have not been very informative due to the complexity and heterogeneity of the response. More recently, the availability of recombinant molecules, synthetic peptides and analytic and semi-quantitative assays has enabled a better dissection of humoral immunity. Antibodies against intracelluiar antigens (c-myb, c-myc, p53 and p21 ras) have been found in a significant, albeit varying, proportion of patients bearing various tumors. Association with a poor prognosis is documented for anti-p53 antibodies in breast carcinoma patients. A number of cell surface antigens, including mucins, oncoproteins and carbohydrate antigens have been found to elicit a humoral immune response and, in some instances, circulating immune complexes were observed. A protective role for or, on the other hand, masking effects of such antibodies is still controversial. An indication that a serological response can be beneficial comes from vaccination studies. A significant association between the development of an anti-tumor antigen antibody response and prolonged survival was observed following vaccination of melanoma patients with GM2 or anti-idiotypic antibodies which molecularly mimic tumor-associated antigens. It is to be hoped that in the near future the numerous ongoing immunization trials and prognostic studies demonstrate whether antibody response can exert a protective role in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-232
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1996


  • Prognosis
  • Serological response
  • TAA
  • Therapy
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of '1975 - 1995 Revised anti-cancer serological response: Biological significance and clinical implications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this