Antineural and antinuclear autoantibodies are of prognostic relevance in non-small cell lung cancer

Ann Thorac Surg. 2000 Jan;69(1):254-8. doi: 10.1016/s0003-4975(99)01198-4.


Background: Autoantibodies against nervous system structures have been proven to be a prognostic factor in small cell lung cancer. However, little is known about humoral autoimmunity in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and its prognostic significance.

Methods: We examined antineural antibodies (AnAb) and antinuclear antibodies (ANA) in the sera of 61 patients with NSCLC (histologically: 29 adenocarcinoma, 32 squamous cell carcinoma). Twenty-one patients had stage I NSCLC, 11 stage II, and 29 patients stage III. Autoantibody detection was done by immunofluorescence test; Western blotting was used as a confirmation test.

Results: Of the NSCLC patients, 27.8% were antineural antibody positive, and 32.7% had ANA. No differences were found between the histological groups. AnAb-positive patients showed a better survival in all patients (p = 0.005). There was also a higher survival of ANA-positive patients, but this was only significant in stage III (p = 0.0025). Cox regression analysis showed that antineural and antinuclear antibodies are a stage-independent prognostic factor in NSCLC.

Conclusions: Antineural and antinuclear autoantibodies are a stage-independent prognostic factor in patients with NSCLC and may represent an effective immune response to the tumor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / immunology
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / blood*
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood
  • Blotting, Western
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / immunology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / immunology
  • Cerebellum / immunology*
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Survival Rate


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Autoantibodies
  • Biomarkers, Tumor