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J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2002 Apr;128(4):219-22. Epub 2002 Feb 6.

Autoantibodies in sera of pancreatic cancer patients identify recombination factor Rad51 as a tumour-associated antigen.

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  • 1Present address: Clinic for Internal Medicine II, Friedrich-Schiller University Jena, Erlanger Allee 101, 07743 Jena, Germany.



The recombination factor Rad51 is highly expressed in human pancreatic adenocarcinoma. In this study we asked whether high-level expression of Rad51 antigen stimulates a B-cell response leading to Rad51-specific autoantibodies in human pancreatic cancer patients.


Sera of patients suffering from pancreatic cancer (57) as well as sera of healthy donors (86) were screened for Rad51 autoantibodies by Western-blot analysis. Rad51 over-expressing cell lines were used as antigen source.


Four out of 57 (7%) sera tested were found positive for Rad51 autoantibodies of IgG subclass, while all 86 control sera were negative.


This observation identifies Rad51 as a tumour-associated antigen in pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Since high-level expression of Rad51 is restricted to tumour cells, Rad51 is also a tumour-specific antigen. Further analyses should reveal whether Rad51 might also function as a tumour-specific transplantation antigen (TSTA) and whether it might serve as a target for new immunotherapeutical approaches.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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