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Expression of Serum Sialic Acid, Early Antigen-IgA, and Viral Capsid Antigen-IgA in Nasopharynx Cancer Patients: The Diagnostic Implication of Combined Assays

Yuning Sun, Caibo Sun, Endong Zhang

Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Second Municipal Hospital of Weihai, Weihai, Shandong, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:4068-4073

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.894951

Available online:

Published: 2015-12-28


BACKGROUND: Ebstein-Barr virus (EBV) plays a critical role in nasopharynx cancer, which can be effectively monitored by serum levels of early antigen antibody (EA-IgA) and viral capsid antigen antibody (VCA-IgA). This study explored the diagnostic value of combined assays of sialic acid (SA), EA-IgA, and VCA-IgA via the expressional assay.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 42 nasopharynx cancer patients and 42 benign rhinitis and healthy controls were recruited in this study. Serum EA-IgA and VCA-IgA were tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and enzymatic assay of serum SA. Specificity and sensitivity of those 3 assays were compared. The diagnostic value of each parameter was evaluated by ROC curves.
RESULTS: All 3 indexes (SA, EA-IgA and VCA-IgA) showed elevated serum levels in nasopharynx cancer patients when compared to those with rhinitis, who had higher levels than healthy individuals. Concentrations of these factors were also positively correlated with the TNM staging of cancer. The sensitivity and specificity were 30.95% and 83.33% (in SA), 57.14% and 95.24% (in EA-IgA), and 76.19% and 92.86% (in VCA-IgA), respectively. VCA-IgA had the highest sensitivity among all 3 indexes. The combined assay increased the diagnostic sensitivity to 92.86% without compromising specificity.
CONCLUSIONS: SA, EA-IgA, and VCA-IgA levels were significantly elevated in nasopharynx patients’ serum. The combined assay may have clinical value in diagnosis and monitoring.

Keywords: Antibodies, Viral - blood, Adult, Antigens, Viral - immunology, Capsid Proteins - blood, Case-Control Studies, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Epstein-Barr Virus Infections - blood, Immunoglobulin A - blood, Immunoglobulin G - blood, N-Acetylneuraminic Acid - blood, Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms - virology, young adult



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