Copyright © 2011 Janos Luka et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. A serum ELISA using a monoclonal antibody that detects a MUC5AC-related antigen (NPC-1C antigen) expressed by pancreatic and colorectal cancer was developed. The NPC-1C antibody reacts with specific epitopes expressed by tumor-associated MUC5AC that does not appear on MUC5AC from normal tissues. Based on observations of a highly specific antibody, we tested the ELISA to differentiate serum from healthy blood donors compared to serum from patients with colorectal or pancreatic cancer. Additionally, patient tumor tissue was stained to examine the expression pattern of MUC5AC-related antigen in pancreatic and colorectal cancers. The results indicate the NPC-1C antibody ELISA distinguished serum of cancer patients from normal donors with very good sensitivity and specificity. Most patient’s tumor biopsy exhibited NPC-1C antibody reactivity, indicating that tumorassociated MUC5AC antigen from tumor is shed into blood, where it can be detected by the NPC-1C antibody ELISA. This serum test provides a new tool to aid in the diagnosis of these cancers and immune monitoring of cancer treatment regimens. 1
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