Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy

, Volume 57, Issue 8, pp 1207–1214 | Cite as

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

  • Reinhold Ramoner
  • Andrea Rahm
  • Hubert Gander
  • Björn Stollenwerk
  • Claudia Falkensammer
  • Nicolai Leonhartsberger
  • Martin ThurnherEmail author
Original Article



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.


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).


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.


Renal cell carcinoma Prognosis T helper cells 



We thank Christoph Eliskases for technical support. We also thank G. Bartsch, Head of the Department of Urology, for continuous support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reinhold Ramoner
    • 1
  • Andrea Rahm
    • 1
  • Hubert Gander
    • 1
  • Björn Stollenwerk
    • 1
    • 2
  • Claudia Falkensammer
    • 1
  • Nicolai Leonhartsberger
    • 1
  • Martin Thurnher
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Immunotherapy Unit, Department of UrologyInnsbruck Medical UniversityInnsbruckAustria
  2. 2.Department of Public Health, Medical Decision Making and Health Technology AssessmentUMIT—University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and TechnologyHall in TirolAustria

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