Supplementary figures and tables from Post-treatment human papillomavirus antibody kinetics in cervical cancer patients

Antibodies to the E6 and E7 oncoproteins of high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) types are strongly associated with HPV-driven cancer, while antibodies against the capsid protein L1 are considered cumulative exposure markers. To test the hypothesis that L1 antibody levels are stable over time, whereas E6 and E7 levels undergo decay after cervical cancer (CXCa) treatment we performed multiplex serology for HPV16 and 18 antigens E6, E7 and L1 in a post-treatment study of 184 patients with invasive CxCa that were characterized with a median follow-up time of 725 days, and 2–12 sera per patient. Antibody titers significantly decreased within the first six months for HPV16 E6 and E7 but not L1 and stabilized for the following 12 months on a high level, with few patients showing seroreversion. Of 67 patients seropositive for HPV16 E6 at diagnosis, 28 (41.8%) showed a decrease in antibody titers of at least 50% within the first 18 months. Similarly, of 50 HPV16 E7 seropositives, 33 (66.0%) showed decreasing antibody levels, whereas antibody decay was less frequent for HPV16 L1 (12 of 47, 25.5%). Using a power-law mathematical model to characterize antibody decay kinetics, the mean (±s.e.) duration to a 50% reduction in antibody titers within individual patients were estimated to be 56.9 (±26.1) and 56.3 (±19.0) days for HPV16 E6 and E7, respectively. In summary, HPV16 E6 and E7 antibodies undergo a slow but significant decrease in antibody titers within the first 6–18 months following CxCa treatment. However, larger studies are needed to confirm the utility of serology for prediction of disease progression and time to relapse based on antibody decay kinetics.This article is part of the theme issue ‘Silent cancer agents: multi-disciplinary modelling of human DNA oncoviruses'.