Serum anti-p53 autoantibodies in pleural malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer and non-neoplastic lung diseases

Lung Cancer. 2003 Feb;39(2):165-72. doi: 10.1016/s0169-5002(02)00449-x.


Alterations of the p53 gene may lead to the production of detectable autoantibodies (p53-Abs) in cancer patients. In order to evaluate the association of p53-Abs with pleuropulmonary diseases, four groups of subjects were analyzed by ELISA for serum p53-Abs, in the framework of a molecular epidemiologic study. Two of 30 pleural malignant mesothelioma patients (MM; 6.7%) and 8/48 lung cancer patients (LC; 16.7%) were seropositive, while all 51 healthy controls (HC) were negative. Two of 55 (3.6%) at-risk controls (RC) with non-malignant respiratory diseases were positive and were not subsequently diagnosed any cancer. The difference was statistically significant between LC and RC or HC (P = 0.01), but not between MM and any other group. No correlation was found with age, sex, cancer stage or histology, cigarette smoking or occupational exposure. A longer survival (not significant) was shown in seropositive LC but not in MM. p53 expression in tumor tissue was also evaluated in a subgroup of MM. In conclusion, the presence of detectable p53-Abs in serum was associated in a statistically significant proportion of cases with LC but only occasionally with MM. The longer survival among positive LC patients and the presence of two seropositive among patients with non-neoplastic respiratory diseases should be further investigated.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm / blood*
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / immunology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / diagnosis
  • Lung Diseases / immunology*
  • Lung Neoplasms
  • Male
  • Mesothelioma / diagnosis
  • Mesothelioma / immunology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pleural Effusion, Malignant / diagnosis
  • Pleural Effusion, Malignant / immunology
  • Pleural Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Pleural Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Neoplasm
  • Autoantibodies
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53