Autoantibodies are found at higher frequency in malignant lymphoproliferative diseases and also the association of these diseases with autoimmunity is documented. However precise mechanisms are not yet understood beyond these findings. We measured anti-extractable nuclear antigen (ENA) antibodies in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients before, during and after chemotherapy and compared these values to healthy controls. Sixty six lymphoma patients' data were compared with 30 healthy patients' data. ENA levels were significantly elevated in untreated lymphoma patients compared with healthy controls (1.85 U/l versus 0.68 U/l, P < 0.05). This increase could be observed during and after treatment as well. Those patients who responded well to initial chmeotherapy were demonstrated with gradually increasing ENA antibody titers compared with the rest of patients, where a gradual decrease in titer was found. These findings are not yet statistically significant, but may help us further understand immunological reactions beyond the treatment of malignant lymphomas.
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