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Acta Oncol. 2007;46(3):316-23.

Humoral immune response to MUC1 and to the Thomsen-Friedenreich (TF) glycotope in patients with gastric cancer: relation to survival.

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  • 1National Institute for Health Development, Hiiu 42, Tallinn 11619, Estonia.


Humoral immune responses to the MUC1 peptide and to MUC1-related Thomsen-Friedenreich (TF) glycotope was investigated in patients with gastric cancer (n = 247), chronic gastroduodenal diseases (n = 199) and in healthy blood donors (n = 100). Data were correlated with disease type, stage of cancer, tumor morphology and survival. MUC1 IgG antibody levels were higher in patients with gastric cancer (p < 0.0001) than in healthy controls. Higher levels of anti-MUC1 IgG were also detected in patients with ulcer of the stomach (p = 0.015) and in atrophic gastritis (p = 0.027). Compared to blood donors, significantly lower levels of anti-TF IgG were found both in the cancer (p = 0.002) and in the benign group (p < 0.0001). At early stages of cancer a positive correlation (p < 0.0001) was found between MUC1 IgG and TF IgG antibody levels. High levels of TF IgG antibodies were significantly associated with a benefit in survival of gastric cancer patients (p = 0.003). A similar though weaker association was observed for patients with high levels of MUC1 IgG antibodies and locoregional disease (stage I-III) (p = 0.037). Thus IgG immune responses to MUC1 are increased in patients with gastric cancer. High levels of either TF IgG or MUC1 IgG antibodies may predict better outcome in surgically treated patients with gastric cancer.

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