Serum anti-p53 antibodies have been detected in different human malignancies, including ovarian carcinoma. In the present investigation these autoantibodies were retrospectively measured with a new ELISA (Immunotech, Marseilles, France) before first surgery and subsequently at different times during the course of disease from 40 patients with advanced ovarian carcinoma. Anti-p53 antibodies were preoperatively found in 15 (37.5%) patients. With regard to the follow-up of these 15 patients, anti-p53 antibodies were detected in 87.8% of the 41 samples drawn when there was clinical evidence of disease compared to 57.1% of the 14 samples collected when there was no clinical evidence of tumor (p = 0.037). As for the 25 patients whose serum originally scored negative, the autoantibodies were found only in 1.8% of the 113 samples obtained during the follow-up, independently of the status of disease. In conclusion, anti-p53 antibodies are often detected in serum from patients with advanced ovarian carcinoma. However, the serial measurement of these autoantibodies does not seem to give useful clinical information for the follow-up of these patients.
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