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Yale J Biol Med. 1977 Jul-Aug;50(4):397-403.

Malignant glial neoplasms: definition of a humoral host response to tumor-associated antigen(s).


There is increasing evidence that human tumors possess tumor-associated neo-antigens. The host mounts an immunological response to these antigens, as evidenced by the detection of circulating humoral antibodies in a variety of human neoplasia.An indirect immunofluorescent antibody technique was employed to detect antibodies to tumor-associated antigens in the sera of patients with malignant gliomas. Viable single cell suspensions were used to demonstrate antibodies to surface contents of tumor cells and cell preparations were snap-frozen at -160° C to demonstrate antibodies to cytoplasmic components of tumor cells. After incubation with serum, the preparations were treated with polyvalent sheep antihuman globulin conjugated to isomer-1-fluorescein isothiocyanate, washed, and examined with a Leitz incident fluorescent microscope.Of the 17 sera from histologically proven malignant glial neoplasm patients, 2 (11%) were positive for an autologous surface antibody reaction. Five (23%) of 21 were positive for an autologus cytoplasmic antibody, however, 10 (47%) of 21 of the sera gave a positive reaction for cross-reacting cytoplasmic antibodies when tested with a battery of tumor cells obtained from different patients with malignant glial tumors.No reaction was observed with normal brain tissue. Absorption studies indicated the presence of a tumor-associated antigen.This study demonstrated that certain patients with malignant gliomas possess circulating antibodies to cytoplasmic components of their own tumor cells. The fact that a number of sera cross-reacted with tumor cells obtained from different patients suggests that antigenic cross-reactivity exists between malignant glioma cells from different patients. It is suggested that with further refinement, immunofluorescent detection of antibodies could evolve as a useful diagnostic adjunct in malignant glioma.

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