Paraneoplastic Hu and CRMP5 antibodies are present in smokers without cancer or neurological disease

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Abstract

Background and objective

We investigated if the paraneoplastic Hu and collapsin response mediator protein 5 (CRMP5) antibodies could be used as early markers for lung cancer in smokers with or without chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Methods

Hu and CRMP5 antibodies were measured by radioimmunoprecipitation assay (RIPA) in sera from 552 smokers; 379 with and 173 without COPD. Three hundred blood donors served as controls. The positive sera were also tested by indirect immunofluorescence and line blot with recombinant proteins. The 552 smokers were matched with data from the Cancer Registry of Norway, and the hospital medical records from the subjects positive for Hu and CRMP5 antibodies were reviewed. The mean follow-up time was 4.4 years (range 2.5–5.7 years).

Results

The RIPA showed that 5/379 (1.3%) smokers with COPD had Hu antibodies and 1/379 (0.3%) smokers with COPD had CRMP5 antibodies. Only the smoker with the highest RIPA index had Hu antibodies also detected by immunofluorescence and line blot. One of 173 (0.6%) smokers without COPD had Hu antibodies, but none had CRMP5 antibodies. None of the 300 controls had Hu antibodies, but 2/300 (0.7%) had CRMP5 antibodies. Hu antibodies remained positive for more than 5 years. No cancer or neurological disease was recorded in the Hu or CRMP5 positive patients. The total cancer frequency in the smokers with and without COPD was 70/552 (13%).

Conclusions

Hu and CRMP5 antibodies were not associated with cancer or neurological disease in a large cohort of smokers and are therefore not always paraneoplastic.

SUMMARY AT A GLANCE

Paraneoplastic Hu and CRMP5 antibodies were tested in a large cohort of smokers. Such antibodies were found in smokers without cancer or neurological disease and are therefore not always paraneoplastic.

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