Autoantibodies: Opportunities for Early Cancer Detection

Trends Cancer. 2017 Mar;3(3):198-213. doi: 10.1016/j.trecan.2017.02.003. Epub 2017 Mar 6.


Cancer cells can induce an immunological response resulting in the production of tumor-associated (TA) autoantibodies. These serum immunobiomarkers have been detected for a range of cancers at an early stage before the development of clinical symptoms. Their measurement is minimally invasive and cost effective using established technologies. TA autoantibodies are present in a clinically significant number of individuals and could supplement current screening modalities to aid early diagnosis of high-risk populations and assist the clinical management of patients. Here we review their production, discovery, and validation as biomarkers for cancer and their current and future potential as clinical tools.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Neoplasm / blood*
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / blood
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / blood*
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Proteomics


  • Antibodies, Neoplasm
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Autoantibodies
  • Biomarkers, Tumor