Published online Jun 21, 2013. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i23.3573
Revised: November 19, 2012
Accepted: December 5, 2012
Published online: June 21, 2013
AIM: To study whether alterations in the glycosylation of immunoglobulin G (IgG) specific to the Thomsen-Friedenreich glycotope (TF) have diagnostic and prognostic potential in gastric cancer.
METHODS: Serum samples were obtained from patients with histologically verified gastric carcinoma (n = 89), healthy blood donors (n = 40), and patients with benign stomach diseases (n = 22). The lectin-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay-based glycoprofiling of TF-specific IgG (anti-TF IgG) was performed using synthetic TF-polyacrylamide conjugate as antigen, total IgG purified by affinity chromatography on protein G sepharose, and lectins of various sugar specificities: mannose-specific concanavalin A (ConA), fucose-specific Aleuria aurantia lectin (AAL) and sialic acid-specific Sambucus nigra agglutinin (SNA). The sensitivity and specificity of the differences between cancer patients and controls were evaluated by receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve analysis. Overall survival was analyzed by the Kaplan-Meier method. Time-dependent ROC curve statistics were applied to determine cut-off values for survival analysis. All calculations and comparisons were performed using the GraphPad Prism 5 and SPSS 15.0 software.
RESULTS: The level of TF-specific IgG was significantly increased in cancer patients compared with non-cancer controls (P < 0.001). This increase was pronounced mostly in stage 1 of the disease. Cancer patients showed a higher level of ConA binding to anti-TF-IgG (P < 0.05) and a very low level of SNA lectin binding (P = 0.0001). No appreciable stage-dependency of the binding of any lectin to anti-TF IgG was found. A strong positive correlation between the binding of AAL and SNA was found in all groups studied (r = 0.71-0.72; P < 0.0001). The changes in ConA reactivity were not related to those of the fucose- or sialic acid-specific lectin. Changes in the SNA binding index and the ConA/SNA binding ratio demonstrated good sensitivity and specificity for stomach cancer: sensitivity 78.79% (95%CI: 61.09-91.02) and 72.73% (95%CI: 57.21-85.04); specificity 79.17 (95%CI: 65.01-89.53) and 88.64% (95%CI: 71.8-96.6), for the SNA binding index and the ConA/SNA binding ratio, respectively. The other combinations of lectins did not improve the accuracy of the assay. The low level of ConA-positive anti-TF IgG was associated with a survival benefit in cancer patients (HR = 1.56; 95%CI: 0.78-3.09; P = 0.19), especially in stages 3-4 of the disease (HR = 2.17; 95%CI: 0.98-4.79; P = 0.048). A significantly better survival rate was found in all cancer patients with a low reactivity of anti-TF IgG to the fucose-specific AAL lectin (HR = 2.39; 95%CI: 1.0-5.7; P = 0.038).
CONCLUSION: The changes in the TF-specific IgG glycosylation pattern can be used as a biomarker for stomach cancer detection, and to predict patient survival.