Antibody profiling of patients with prostate cancer reveals differences in antibody signatures among disease stages.

Previous studies of prostate cancer autoantibodies have largely focused on diagnostic applications. So far, there have been no reports attempting to more comprehensively profile the landscape of prostate cancer-associated antibodies. Specifically, it is unknown whether the quantity of antibodies or the types of proteins recognized change with disease progression.

A peptide microarray spanning the amino acid sequences of the gene products of 1611 prostate cancer-associated genes was synthesized. Serum samples from healthy male volunteers (n=15) and patients with prostate cancer (n=85) were used to probe the array. These samples included patients with various clinical stages of disease: newly diagnosed localized prostate cancer (n=15), castration-sensitive non-metastatic prostate cancer (nmCSPC, n=40), castration-resistant non-metastatic prostate cancer (n=15) and castration-resistant metastatic disease (n=15). The patients with nmCSPC received treatment with either standard androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) or an antitumor DNA vaccine encoding prostatic acid phosphatase. Serial sera samples from these individuals were also used to probe the array, to secondarily determine whether this approach could be used to detect treatment-related changes.

We demonstrated that this peptide array yielded highly reproducible measurements of serum IgG levels. We found that the overall number of antibody responses did not increase with disease burden. However, the composition of recognized proteins shifted with clinical stage of disease. Our analysis revealed that the largest difference was between patients with castration-sensitive and castration-resistant disease. Patients with castration-resistant disease recognized more proteins associated with nucleic acid binding and gene regulation compared with men in other groups. Our longitudinal data showed that treatments can elicit antibodies detectable by this array, and notably vaccine-treated patients developed increased responses to more proteins over the course of treatment than did ADT-treated patients.

This study represents the largest survey of prostate cancer-associated antibodies to date. We have been able to characterize the classes of proteins recognized by patients and determine how they change with disease burden. Our findings further demonstrate the potential of this platform for measuring antigen spread and studying responses to immunomodulatory therapies.

Journal for immunotherapy of cancer. 2020 Dec [Epub]

Hemanth K Potluri, Tun Lee Ng, Michael A Newton, Jin Zhang, Christopher A Maher, Peter S Nelson, Douglas G McNeel

Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA., Biostatistics and Medical Informatics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA., Medicine, Washington University in Saint Louis, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA., Human Biology Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, USA., Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA .