Published online Sep 14, 2019. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v25.i34.5049
Peer-review started: May 15, 2019
First decision: July 21, 2019
Revised: July 28, 2019
Accepted: August 19, 2019
Article in press: August 19, 2019
Published online: September 14, 2019
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and esophagogastric junction adenocarcinoma (EGJA) are the two main types of gastrointestinal cancers that pose a huge threat to human health. ESCC remains one of the most common malignant diseases around the world. In contrast to the decreasing prevalence of ESCC, the incidence of EGJA is rising rapidly. Early detection represents one of the most promising ways to improve the prognosis and reduce the mortality of these cancers. Current approaches for early diagnosis mainly depend on invasive and costly endoscopy. Non-invasive biomarkers are in great need to facilitate earlier detection for better clinical management of patients. Tumor-associated autoantibodies can be detected at an early stage before manifestations of clinical signs of tumorigenesis, making them promising biomarkers for early detection and monitoring of ESCC and EGJA. In this review, we summarize recent insights into the iden-tification and validation of tumor-associated autoantibodies for the early detection of ESCC and EGJA and discuss the challenges remaining for clinical validation.
Core tip: The current protocol for early diagnosis of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and esophagogastric junction adenocarcinoma is endoscopic imaging followed by biopsy confirmation. However, the invasive nature of the procedure and high cost of endoscopy limit it as a tool for screening the general population. This review highlights autoantibodies as non-invasive biomarkers in the early detection of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and esophagogastric junction adenocarcinoma.