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Serological analysis of recombinant complementary deoxyribonucleic acid (cDNA) expression libraries (SEREX) is a powerful approach to identify immunogenic cancer-associated proteins using antibodies that are naturally present in the serum of cancer patients. This technique involves the screening of a relevant cDNA expression library with patient serum that has been cleaned to remove any antibodies that may recognize bacterial and/or viral proteins. Once antigens have been identified and their reactivity has been confirmed with a second round of screening, the gene encoding the protein can be sequenced and identified. Antigens can then be screened with a panel of allogenic sera from other patients and control individuals. This identifies disease-specific antigens, which may be useful diagnostic markers or, alternatively, targets for immunotherapy. This chapter describes the SEREX methodology in full.

Original publication




Journal article


Methods Mol Med

Publication Date





109 - 128


Antibodies, Neoplasm, Antigens, Neoplasm, Autoantibodies, Autoantigens, Biomarkers, Tumor, DNA, Complementary, Gene Library, Humans, Lymphoma