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Increased exposure to bacterial antigen RpL7/L12 in early stage colorectal cancer patients
Article first published online: 19 AUG 2010
Copyright © 2010 American Cancer Society
Volume 116, Issue 17, pages 4014–4022, 1 September 2010
How to Cite
Boleij, A., Roelofs, R., Schaeps, R. M. J., Schülin, T., Glaser, P., Swinkels, D. W., Kato, I. and Tjalsma, H. (2010), Increased exposure to bacterial antigen RpL7/L12 in early stage colorectal cancer patients. Cancer, 116: 4014–4022. doi: 10.1002/cncr.25212
- Issue published online: 23 AUG 2010
- Article first published online: 19 AUG 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 16 DEC 2009
- Manuscript Revised: 17 NOV 2009
- Manuscript Received: 21 SEP 2009
- colorectal cancer;
- bacterial infection;
- humoral immune response;
- intestinal bacteria;
- Streptococcus bovis;
- Streptococcus gallolyticus;
Intestinal bacteria have long been implicated in colorectal cancer pathology, and many reports point to a close linkage between Streptococcus bovis biotype I (recently renamed Streptococcus gallolyticus) infections and tumors of the human colon. This work aims to investigate the humoral immune response to this bacterium during different stages of colorectal cancer.
The presence of serum antibodies against S. bovis antigen RpL7/L12, previously assigned as a potential diagnostic antigen, was evaluated in Dutch (n = 209) and American (n = 112) populations using a newly developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
The analyses consistently showed that an immune response against this bacterial antigen was increased in polyp patients and stage I/II colorectal cancer patients as compared with asymptomatic individuals. This was not paralleled by increased antibody production to endotoxin, an intrinsic cell wall component of the majority of intestinal bacteria, which implies that the humoral immune response against RpL7/L12 is not a general phenomenon induced by the loss of colonic barrier function. Notably, increased anti-RpL7/L12 levels were not or were only mildly detected in late stage colorectal cancer patients having lymph node or distant metastasis.
These findings are indicative of an increased exposure to antigen RpL7/L12 during early stages of colon carcinogenesis and suggest that intestinal bacteria such as S. bovis constitute a risk factor for the progression of premalignant lesions into early stage carcinomas. Clearly, the current findings emphasize the necessity for further studies on the possible etiologic relationship between intestinal bacteria and human colorectal cancer. Cancer 2010. © 2010 American Cancer Society.