Overdiagnosis and overtreatment of prostate cancer (CaP) is attributable to widespread reliance on PSA screening in the US. This has prompted us and others to search for improved biomarkers for CaP, to facilitate early detection and disease stratification. In this regard, autoantibodies (AAbs) against tumor antigens could serve as potential candidates for diagnosis and prognosis of CaP. Towards this, our goals were: i) To investigate whether AAbs against ERG oncoprotein (overexpressed in 25-50% of Caucasian American and African American CaP) are present in the sera of CaP patients; ii) To evaluate an AAb panel to enhance CaP detection. The results using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) showed that anti-ERG AAbs are present in a significantly higher proportion in the sera of CaP patients compared to healthy controls (p = 0.0001). Furthermore, a panel of AAbs against ERG, AMACR and human endogenous retrovirus-K Gag successfully differentiated CaP patient sera from healthy controls (AUC = 0.791). These results demonstrate for the first time that anti-ERG AAbs are present in the sera of CaP patients. In addition, the data also suggest that AAbs against ERG together with AMACR and HERV-K Gag may be a useful panel of biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis of CaP.
- Prostate cancer