Int J Med Sci 2013; 10(12):1674-1682. doi:10.7150/ijms.6841

Research Paper

The Relation of the Level of Serum Anti-TF, -Tn and -Alpha-Gal IgG to Survival in Gastrointestinal Cancer Patients

Eugeniy Smorodin1✉, Boris Sergeyev1, Kersti Klaamas1, Valentin Chuzmarov2, Oleg Kurtenkov1

1. Department of Oncology & Immunology, National Institute for Health Development, Tallinn 11619, Estonia.
2. Department of Oncology & II Surgery, North-Estonian Medical Centre, Tallinn 13419, Estonia.

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Smorodin E, Sergeyev B, Klaamas K, Chuzmarov V, Kurtenkov O. The Relation of the Level of Serum Anti-TF, -Tn and -Alpha-Gal IgG to Survival in Gastrointestinal Cancer Patients. Int J Med Sci 2013; 10(12):1674-1682. doi:10.7150/ijms.6841. Available from

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Objective: To evaluate the relation of the level of serum anti-TF, -Tn and -αGal carbohydrate antibodies to survival in gastrointestinal cancer patients.

Methods: The level of anti-TF (Thomsen-Friedenreich antigen), -Tn and -αGal IgG was analysed in the serum of patients with gastric (n = 83) and colorectal (n = 51) cancers in the long-term follow-up, using ELISA with polyacrylamide glycoconjugates. To evaluate overall survival and the risk of death, the Kaplan-Meier method and the Cox proportional hazards model were used in the univariate analysis of patients groups.

Results: A significantly better survival was observed: (1) in patients with an increased level of anti-TF antibodies (all, stage III, T2-4, N1-2 and G3; P = 0.004-0.038, HR = 0.16-0.46); and (2) in patients with an increased level of anti-Tn antibodies (G1-2 tumors; P = 0.034-0.042, HR = 0.34-0.47). A significantly worse survival was observed in gastrointestinal, gastric and colorectal groups with an increased level of serum anti-αGal antibodies. This association depended on the patho-morphology of tumors (all, stages I-II, III, T2-4, N0, N1-2 and G1-2; P = 0.006-0.048, HR = 1.99-2.33). In the combined assessment of the anti-TF and -αGal antibodies level of the whole gastrointestinal group (n = 53), P = 0.002, HR = 0.25, 95% CI 0.094-0.655. In the follow-up, the survival time was shorter in patients whose level of anti-αGal antibodies rose (P = 0.009-0.040, HR = 2.18-4.27). The level of anti-TF antibodies inversely correlated with neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (NLR, r = - 0.401, P = 0.004, n = 49). Patients with a higher level of anti-αGal antibodies and NLR values demonstrated a significantly worse survival (P = 0.009, HR = 2.98, n = 48).

Conclusions: The preoperative levels of anti-TF, -Tn and -αGal antibodies and their dynamics are of prognostic significance. The method for the determination of circulating anti-carbohydrate antibodies may be a useful supplement in clinical outcome assessment.

Keywords: gastrointestinal cancer, survival, Thomsen-Friedenreich, Tn, alpha-Gal, antibodies, enteric microbiota.