Clinical and Translational Oncology

, Volume 19, Issue 7, pp 898–906 | Cite as

Circulating levels of autoantibodies against L1-cell adhesion molecule as a potential diagnostic biomarker in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

  • Y.-W. Xu
  • Y.-H. Peng
  • L.-Q. Ran
  • T.-T. Zhai
  • H.-P. Guo
  • S.-Q. Qiu
  • H.-L. Chen
  • Z.-Y. Wu
  • E.-M. LiEmail author
  • J.-J. XieEmail author
Research Article



Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is a common malignant disease worldwide, especially in China. We aimed to determine the level of autoantibodies against L1CAM in patients with ESCC.


Levels of circulating autoantibodies against L1CAM antigens were determined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in cohort 1 (191 patients with ESCC and 94 normal controls) and validated in cohort 2 (47 patients with ESCC and 47 normal controls). Receiver-operating characteristics were employed to calculate diagnostic accuracy. Cumulative survival time was calculated by the Kaplan–Meier method and analyzed by the log-rank test.


In cohorts 1 and 2, levels of autoantibodies against L1CAM were all significantly higher in sera of patients with ESCC compared to normal controls (P < 0.05). Detection of autoantibodies against L1CAM provided a sensitivity of 26.2%, a specificity of 90.4%, and an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.603 (95% CI 0.535–0.672) in diagnosing ESCC in cohort 1, and a sensitivity of 27.7%, a specificity of 91.5%, and an AUC of 0.628 (95% CI 0.516–0.741). Similar results were observed in the diagnosis of early stage ESCC (25.2% sensitivity, 90.4% specificity, and an AUC of 0.611 (95% CI 0.533–0.689) in cohort 1, and 33.3% sensitivity, 91.5% specificity, and an AUC of 0.636 (95% CI 0.439–0.832) in cohort 2). Moreover, positive rates of autoantibodies against L1CAM had no statistical correlation with clinical outcome of ESCC (P > 0.05).


Our results suggest that circulating autoantibodies against L1CAM is a potential biomarker for the early detection of ESCC.


Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma L1CAM Autoantibodies Sera Diagnosis 



This work was supported by grants from the Natural Science Foundation of China-Guangdong Joint Fund (No. U1301227); the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 81472342, 81172264, 81472613); the Science and Technology Program of Guangdong (2013B060300020, 2014A030304060); the Innovative and Strong School Project of Guangdong (2015KQNCX044); the Shantou University Medical College Clinical Research Enhancement Initiative (201428); the Fok Ying-Tong Education Foundation (No. 141034); and the Li Kashing Foundation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Federación de Sociedades Españolas de Oncología (FESEO) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y.-W. Xu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Y.-H. Peng
    • 1
    • 2
  • L.-Q. Ran
    • 3
  • T.-T. Zhai
    • 4
  • H.-P. Guo
    • 5
  • S.-Q. Qiu
    • 6
  • H.-L. Chen
    • 7
  • Z.-Y. Wu
    • 7
  • E.-M. Li
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • J.-J. Xie
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Laboratory MedicineThe Cancer Hospital of Shantou University Medical CollegeShantouChina
  2. 2.The Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology for High Cancer Incidence Coastal Chaoshan AreaShantou University Medical CollegeShantouChina
  3. 3.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyShantou University Medical CollegeShantouChina
  4. 4.Department of Radiation OncologyThe Cancer Hospital of Shantou University Medical CollegeShantouChina
  5. 5.Department of Head and Neck SurgeryThe Cancer Hospital of Shantou University Medical CollegeShantouChina
  6. 6.The Breast CenterThe Cancer Hospital of Shantou University Medical CollegeShantouChina
  7. 7.Department of Surgical OncologyShantou Central HospitalShantouChina

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