Circulating IgG response to stromelysin-3, collagenase-3, galectin-3 and mesothelin in patients with pharynx/larynx squamous cell carcinoma

Anticancer Res. Sep-Oct 2001;21(5):3677-84.


With the aim of identifying tumor-associated antigens that could be potential markers and/or targets of diagnostic and/or therapeutic approaches, we studied the occurrence of circulating IgG antibodies to human stromelysin-3, collagenase-3, galectin-3 and mesothelin, by Western blot against their purified recombinant forms, in the sera of 50 patients with pharynx/larynx squamous cell carcinoma (PLSCC), as well as in the sera of 50 healthy blood donors. Overall, antibodies to collagenase-3 were detected in 50% of all the cancer patients and 16% of the blood donors examined; this percentage difference was statistically significant (p = 0.00066). With respect to anti-galectin-3 antibodies, the percentages were 32% and 18%, respectively, but they were not statistically different (p = 0.16). Low levels of antibodies to stromelysin-3 and to mesothelin were detected in sera from only two cancer patients. No significant correlations were found in the present study between the presence of antibodies to these proteins and tumor site, clinical and T stages, lymph node involvement, DNA ploidy and histological grade of differentiation of the primary tumors. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the detection of circulating IgG to collagenase-3 in cancer patients. Some of the percentages found here in certain groups of patients are among the highest reported of circulating antibodies to any tumor component studied so far. The monitoring and the use of human antibodies to collagenase-3 could be of diagnostic and therapeutic interest.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigens, Differentiation / immunology*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / immunology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Collagenases / immunology*
  • Female
  • GPI-Linked Proteins
  • Galectin 3
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / biosynthesis
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 11
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 13
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / immunology*
  • Mesothelin
  • Metalloendopeptidases / immunology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pharyngeal Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Pharyngeal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Recombinant Proteins / immunology


  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • GPI-Linked Proteins
  • Galectin 3
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Collagenases
  • MMP13 protein, human
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 11
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 13
  • Metalloendopeptidases
  • Mesothelin