By definition, tumor biomarkers are selective molecules that can distinguish between patients with cancer and controls. Serum tumor markers have been the most widely used approach for cancer detection. However, the limitations of these markers, which are based on the measurement of tumor antigens, preclude their general use in cancer screening and diagnosis. Here we give an overview of recent cancer biomarker developments based on the detection of autoantibodies produced against tumor antigens in patients' sera. This new detection method can measure the autoantibodies for a spectrum of tumor antigens in a single assay, with sensitivity and specificity exceeding those obtained using the conventional antigen determination method. Autoantibodies against serum cancer biomarkers offer a novel technology for cancer detection.
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