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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009 May;18(5):1357-64. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-08-0696.

Autoantibody to tumor antigen, alpha 2-HS glycoprotein: a novel biomarker of breast cancer screening and diagnosis.

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Department of Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 28 Yongon-dong, Chongno-gu, Seoul 110-744, Korea.


We sought to identify a new serum biomarker for breast cancer screening and diagnosis using stepwise proteomic analysis of sera from breast cancer patients to detect the presence of autoantibodies that react with urinary protein. Two-dimensional immunoblotting was done for screening autoimmunogenic tumor antigens in the urine of breast cancer patients. Reactive spots were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Among urinary proteins separated by two-dimensional electrophoresis, 13 spots showed strong reactivity with pooled sera from breast cancer patients or control sera. By mass spectrometry, we identified alpha 2-HS glycoprotein (AHSG) as a tumor antigen. Peripheral blood was obtained from 81 women diagnosed with breast cancer before surgery and 73 female donors without evidence of any malignancy for the individual analysis. In one-dimensional Western blot analysis, AHSG autoantibody was detected in 64 of 81 breast cancer patients (79.1%) and in 7 of 73 controls (9.6%). The sensitivity of this test in breast cancer patients was 79.0%. Our results suggest that AHSG and anti-AHSG autoantibody may be useful serum biomarkers for breast cancer screening and diagnosis.

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