Oncology letters

Combination of autoantibodies against NY-ESO-1 and viral capsid antigen immunoglobulin A for improved detection of nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

PMID 25120665


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is one of the most common malignant tumors in Southern China and Southeast Asia, and early detection remains a challenge. Autoantibodies have been found to precede the manifestations of symptomatic cancer by several months to years, making their identification of particular relevance for early detection. In the present study, the diagnostic value of serum autoantibodies against NY-ESO-1 in NPC patients was evaluated. The study included 112 patients with NPC and 138 normal controls. Serum levels of autoantibodies against NY-ESO-1 and classical Epstein-Barr virus marker, viral capsid antigen immunoglobulin A (VCA-IgA), were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Measurement of autoantibodies against NY-ESO-1 and VCA-IgA demonstrated a sensitivity/specificity of 42.9/94.9% [95% confidence interval (CI), 33.7-52.6/89.4-97.8%] and 55.4/95.7% (95% CI, 45.7-64.7/90.4-98.2%), respectively. The area under receiver operating characteristic curve for autoantibodies against NY-ESO-1 (0.821; 95% CI, 0.771-0.871) was marginally lower than that for VCA-IgA (0.860; 95% CI, 0.810-0.910) in NPC. The combination of autoantibodies against NY-ESO-1 and VCA-IgA yielded an enhanced sensitivity of 80.4% (95% CI, 71.6-87.0%) and a specificity of 90.6% (95% CI, 84.1-94.7%). Moreover, detection of autoantibodies against NY-ESO-1 could differentiate early-stage NPC patients from normal controls. Our results suggest that autoantibodies against NY-ESO-1 may serve as a potential biomarker, as a supplement to VCA-IgA, for the screening and diagnosis of NPC.