, Volume 128, Issue 4, pp 219-222

Autoantibodies in sera of pancreatic cancer patients identify recombination factor Rad51 as a tumour-associated antigen

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Purpose: The recombination factor Rad51 is highly expressed in human pancreatic adenocarcinoma. In this study we asked whether high-level expression of Rad51 antigen stimulates a B-cell response leading to Rad51-specific autoantibodies in human pancreatic cancer patients. Methods: Sera of patients suffering from pancreatic cancer (57) as well as sera of healthy donors (86) were screened for Rad51 autoantibodies by Western-blot analysis. Rad51 over-expressing cell lines were used as antigen source. Results: Four out of 57 (7%) sera tested were found positive for Rad51 autoantibodies of IgG subclass, while all 86 control sera were negative. Conclusion: This observation identifies Rad51 as a tumour-associated antigen in pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Since high-level expression of Rad51 is restricted to tumour cells, Rad51 is also a tumour-specific antigen. Further analyses should reveal whether Rad51 might also function as a tumour-specific transplantation antigen (TSTA) and whether it might serve as a target for new immunotherapeutical approaches.

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