Cancer sera contain antibodies which react with a unique group of autologous cellular antigens called tumor-associated antigens (TAAs). This study determines whether a mini-array of multiple TAAs would enhance antibody detection and be a useful approach to cancer detection and diagnosis. The mini-array of TAAs comprised full-length recombinant proteins expressed from cDNAs encoding c-myc, p53, cyclin B1, p62, Koc, IMP1, and survivin. Enzyme immunoassay was used to detect antibodies in 527 sera from six different types of cancer. Antibody frequency to any individual TAA was variable but rarely exceeded 15-20%. With the successive addition of TAAs to a final total of seven antigens, there was a stepwise increase of positive antibody reactions up to a range of 44-68%. Breast, lung, and prostate cancer patients showed separate and distinct profiles of reactivity, suggesting that uniquely constituted antigen mini-arrays might be developed to distinguish between some types of cancer. Distinct antibody profiles were not observed in gastric, colorectal, and hepatocellular carcinomas with this set of seven TAAs. Detection of autoantibodies in cancer can be enhanced by using a mini-array of several TAAs as target antigens. Additional studies in early cancer patients and high-risk individuals and the design of unique antigen panels for different cancers would help to determine whether multiple antigen mini-arrays for the detection of autoantibodies might contribute a clinically useful noninvasive approach to cancer detection and diagnosis.