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A case–control study of pre-operative levels of serum neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin and other potential inflammatory markers in colorectal cancer

Abstract : Background: Chronic inflammation is a key feature of colorectal cancer (CRC), meaning that inflammatory biomarkers may be useful for its diagnosis. In particular, high neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) expression has been reported in CRC. Thus, we investigated whether serum NGAL and NGAL/MMP-9 could be potential biomarkers for the early detection of CRC. Concurrently, we studied other inflammatory biomarkers such as soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 and 2 (sTNFR-1, sTNFR-2), and C reactive protein (CRP). Methods: The AGARIC multicenter case–control study was performed in eastern France and included patients admitted for elective surgery either for a priori non-metastatic incident CRC (n = 224) or for benign causes (n = 252). Pre-operative serum levels of NGAL, NGAL/MMP-9, sTNFR-1, sTNFR-2 and CRP were measured. Results: Median values of serum NGAL, NGAL/MMP-9, sTNFR-1, sTNFR-2 and CRP were significantly higher in CRC patients than in controls. Receiver Operating Characteristic analysis provided relatively poor values of area under the curve, ranging from 0.65 to 0.58. Except for NGAL/MMP-9, all biological parameters were strongly correlated in CRC cases and, less strongly in controls. Multivariate odds ratio (OR) of CRC comparing the extreme tertiles of serum NGAL was 2.76 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.59-4.78; p < 0.001),. Lower but significant multivariate associations were observed for sTNFR-1, and sTNFR-2: OR = 2.44 (95% CI : 1.34-4.45, p = 0.015) and 1.93 (95% : CI 1.12-3.31), respectively. No independent association was found between case–control status and NGAL/MMP-9. Among CRC cases, maximal tumor size was an independent determinant of serum NGAL (p = 0.028) but this association was reduced after adjustment for CRP (p = 0.11). Conclusion: Despite a significant increase in serum NGAL and other inflammatory markers among CRC patients, our findings suggest that they may not be suitable biomarkers for the diagnosis and especially early detection of CRC.
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Laurence Duvillard, Pablo Ortega-Deballon, Abderrahmane Bourredjem, Marie-Lorraine Scherrer, Georges Mantion, et al.. A case–control study of pre-operative levels of serum neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin and other potential inflammatory markers in colorectal cancer. BMC Cancer, BioMed Central, 2014, 14, pp.912. ⟨10.1186/1471-2407-14-912⟩. ⟨hal-01687061⟩

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