Two monoclonal antibodies, MA54 and MA61, were established by immunizing with culture medium supernatants of a lung adenocarcinoma cell line, and a double-determinant sandwich enzyme immunoassay system was developed by using these two monoclonal antibodies. The antigen recognized by this assay (CA54/61) was found to be often high in the sera of several cancers. The antigen recognized by MA54 (CA54) or MA61 (CA61) proved to be carbohydrate chain on a high molecular weight mucin-type glycoprotein, and CA54 has NeuAcα2–6galactose in the terminal residue.

CA54/61 was frequently found in the sera of ovarian cancer patients, the positive rate being 67, 64, 40, and 78% in serous, mucinous, endometrioid, and mesonephroid cancers, respectively, when the cut off value was set at mean + 4 SD. Since the positive rate of CA125, which is now the most widely used for the diagnosis of ovarian cancers, is rather low (approximately <50%) in mucinous cystoadenocarcinoma, CA54/61 will be of clinical value. In addition, CA61 was detected immunohistochemically in the fetal red blood cells with nuclei, indicating its oncodevelopmental character in nature.

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