Anti-p53 antibodies in sera from patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can predate a diagnosis of cancer

Glenwood E. Trivers, Virna M.G. De Benedetti, Helen L. Cawley, Gail Caron, Anita M. Harrington, William P. Bennett, James R. Jett, Thomas V. Colby, Henry Tazelaar, Peter Pairolero, Roland D. Miller, Curtis C. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


Serum anti-p53 antibodies (p53-Abs) may be surrogate markers for both p53 alterations and preclinical cancer. Ancillary to a prospective trial to abate progressive development of clinical stages of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, we conducted a retrospective, nested case-control study. Twenty-three cases were diagnosed with cancer during the trial. Enzyme immunoassay, immunoblotting, and immunoprecipitation were used to detect p53-Abs in serum, immunohistochemistry (IHC) to detect p53 accumulation, and single-strand conformation polymorphism and DNA sequencing to detect p53 mutations in tumor samples. p53-Abs were detected by three types of assays in five (23% ) of the cancer patients, 80% of whom had detectable p53-Abs before diagnosis: 2 lung cancers (7 and 6 months before), 1 prostate cancer (11 months), and 1 breast cancer (5 months). Four Ab-positive patients had IHC-positive tumors. Two of 4 Ab-positive patients and 2 of 14 Ab-negative had p53 missense mutations or base pair deletion and IHC-positive tumors. The 44 noncancer COPD controls, matched with the cancer cases for age, gender, and smoking habits, were negative for p53-Abs. These results indicate that p53-Abs may facilitate the early diagnosis of cancer in a subset of smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who are at an increased cancer risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1767-1775
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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