To clarify the host immune response and explore a new serological marker of lung cancer, we examined serum c-Myc antigens and auto-antibodies against c-Myc in 68 lung cancer patients and 30 healthy volunteers using bacterially synthesized glutathione S-transferase c-Myc fusion proteins and immunoblotting. The detection rate of anti-c-Myc antibodies was 13.2% (9/68) in lung cancer patients and 3.3% (1/30) in healthy volunteers. These anti-c-Myc antibodies were directed toward exon 2 alone (4/68), exon 3 alone (1/68), and both exon 2 and exon 3 (4/68) of c-Myc. Circulating c-Myc antigen was not detected in any individuals with lung cancer and normal controls. Age, sex, performance status, histology, stage, smoking history, and prior treatment of the patients with and without anti-c-Myc antibodies were not significantly different. The low incidence of anti-c-Myc antibodies and c-Myc antigens in peripheral blood suggests that these examinations are not useful in the serological diagnosis of lung cancer.

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