Anti-C1GALT1 Autoantibody Is a Novel Prognostic Biomarker for Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

Head and Neck Cancer

Lin MC, et al. Laryngoscope 2020.


OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study is to determine the value of the anti- glycoprotein-N-acetylgalactosamine 3-beta-galactosyltransferase 1 (C1GALT1) autoantibody as a biomarker for distant metastasis and good response to immune checkpoint inhibitors in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).

METHODS: In this retrospective study with a median follow-up of 55.7 months, 186 HNSCC patients were enrolled between July 2013 and August 2014. Data were analyzed between April 2018 and November 2019. Titers of autoantibody against the C1GALT1 peptide were measured by ELISA. Student t test, Kaplan-Meier analysis, and univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazard models were used to evaluate the association of anti-C1GALT1 autoantibody titer with clinicopathologic factors, survival, and response to immunotherapy.

RESULTS: Our results showed that high levels of the anti-C1GALT1 autoantibody is an independent marker for distant metastasis and poor disease-specific survivals in HNSCC patients. In 19 recurrent or metastatic (R/M) HNSCC patients who have received nivolumab or pembrolizumab, higher autoantibody titers are associated with a better treatment response.

CONCLUSION: We propose that the anti-C1GALT1 autoantibody can serve as a novel biomarker for distant metastasis in HNSCC patients. It is also useful in individualized medicine for R/M HNSCC patients who are considering immunotherapy.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: IV Laryngoscope, 2020.