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Keywords:

  • antibodies;
  • breast cancer;
  • cyclin B1;
  • immunosurveillance;
  • tumour-associated antigen

Summary

Cyclin B1 is a checkpoint protein that regulates cell division from G2 to the M phase. Studies in mice have shown that cyclin B1 vaccine-induced immunity significantly delayed or prevented the spontaneous cancer development later in life. We hypothesized that if these results showing a protective effect of anti-cyclin B1 antibodies could be extrapolated to the human condition, cancer-free individuals should have higher levels of endogenous antibodies than patients with cancers characterized by the over-expression of this tumour-associated antigen. To test this hypothesis, we characterized a large (1739 subjects) number of multi-ethnic patients with breast cancer (which over-expresses cyclin B1) and matched controls for anti-cyclin B1 immunoglobulin (Ig)G antibodies. Multivariate analyses, after adjusting for the covariates, showed that cancer-free individuals had significantly higher levels of naturally occurring IgG antibodies to cyclin B1 than patients with breast cancer (mean ± standard deviation: 148·0 ± 73·6 versus 126·1 ± 67·8 arbitrary units per ml; P < 0·0001). These findings may have important implications for cyclin B1-based immunotherapy against breast cancer and many other cyclin B1-over-expressing malignancies.