, Volume 57, Issue 8, pp 1207-1214
Date: 06 Mar 2008

Serum antibodies against Saccharomyces cerevisiae: a new prognostic indicator in metastatic renal-cell carcinoma

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Abstract

Purpose

A recent study reported that a diet rich in bread and refined cereals might have an unfavorable role in the development of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). To test whether an underlying intolerance of bread ingredients is responsible for the unfavorable influence of bread on RCC, we examined patient sera for the presence of food-specific IgG.

Experimental design

A commercial test was used to detect food-specific IgG directed against a panel of 113 food antigens in sera of 54 patients with metastatic RCC. Kaplan–Meier estimates were used for univariate survival analysis, and differences in survival curves were assessed with the log-rank test. Multivariate survival analysis was done using a Cox regression model.

Results

We found that RCC patients with elevated serum levels of IgG antibodies against S. cerevisiae, commonly known as baker’s yeast and yet another bread component, have an unfavorable clinical course. Median survival of patients with high levels of S. cerevisiae IgG was only 17.8 months, whereas median survival of patients with low S. cerevisiae IgG was 43.8 months (P = 0.0022; log-rank). Multivariate survival analysis identified high levels of S. cerevisiae IgG as a strong and independent prognostic risk factor (risk ratio 4.6, P = 0.001; 95% CI 1.61–13.08).

Conclusions

Our findings indicate that serum levels of IgG against S. cerevisiae may predict survival in patients with metastatic RCC. The data suggest not cereals but baker’s yeast being the critical component of bread that may cause immune deviation and impaired immunosurveillance in predisposed RCC patients.

This work is dedicated to the memory of Michael Thurnher. Supported by Grant No. 03a of the Kompetenzzentrum Medizin Tirol (to M.T., work was performed in the Department of Urology). The Immunotherapy Unit of the Department of Urology is certified according to International Standards Organization 9001:2000.