The relation between antibodies to early Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-induced antigens (EA) and antibodies to other EBV-related antigens was investigated as well as the significance of anti-EA in Burkitt’s lymphoma (BL). Anti-EA was clearly distinct from antibodies to EB viral capsid antigens (VCA), EBV-dependent cell membrane antigens, and precipitating antibodies. Whereas anti-EA was found only in sera which showed also anti-VCA at titers of ^1:40, sera with high anti-VCA titers did not necessarily contain anti-EA. This type of discordance was frequent among the relatively few sera from African control children with high anti- VCA titers, but was relatively rare among the many sera with high anti-VCA titers from BL patients. Presence or absence of anti-EA reflects to a considerable extent the prognosis of patients with BL after chemotherapy. Most sera obtained shortly before death had high titers of anti-EA. Among patients who died without anti-EA were several who were moribund when admitted and several in whom death was due to complications while the presenting tumors were in remission. In contrast, over half the patients who survived for at least 2 years, some as long as 9 years to date, lacked this antibody or had only low titers. Recurrences, as late as 5 years after initial successful treatment, were more frequent among long-term survivors who had continuously high anti-EA titers than among patients who were admitted without anti-EA. Possible explanations for the apparent prognostic significance of anti-EA in BL were discussed.—J Nat Cancer Inst 46: 861-871, 1971.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research