Anti-p53 antibodies in serum of smokers and head and neck cancer patients

B. Wollenberg*, N. V. Jan, P. Pitzke, W. Reiter, P. Stieber

*Corresponding author for this work
20 Citations (Scopus)


Inactivation of the p53 gene occurs in various tumors favouring the accumulation of genetic aberration. It is assumed that p53 protein can become immunogenic in stimulating the production of circulating anti p53 antibodies. Sera from 97 patients with primary and 30 patients with recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck were examined for p53 autoantibodies with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Sera from 42 patients with benign ENT-diseases and 28 healthy smokers served as the control. 38,1% (37/97) of the patients with primary and 36.6% (11/30) with recurrent SCCHN had autoantibodies to p53 in their serum. The evidence of p53 antibodies was not dependent on histological grading, T- or UICC stage of the disease. 24.2% (17/70) of the control group also had autoantibodies to p53 in the serum. The values of the control group and the patient group are so closely related, that p53 autoantibodies can not serve as a marker of malignancy. The indication for p53 measurement by ELISA should be very closely defined and limited.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number1 A
Pages (from-to)413-418
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1997


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