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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

NK cell activity in treated prostate cancer patients as a probe for circulating tumor cells: hormone regulatory effects in vivo.

Natural killer (NK) cell activity was studied together with tumor marker serotests (PSA, PAP) and blood testosterone, estradiol, cortisol, and prolactin concentrations in treated prostate cancer patients. NK cell activity data were correlated with tumor stage (stage D0 + D1 versus stage D2) and showed statistically insignificant differences. Both tumor progression and stabilization of metastatic disease, triggered by the application of more appropriate therapy in progressive subjects, yielded low NK activity data. By contrast, normal NK activity was found during both partial remission of stage D2 tumor and stabilization of the same disease, after an initial period of tumor remission. Differences between NK activity data from the aforementioned two groups are statistically significant (P less than 0.01). In subjects examined, the application of NK activity assay to those with advanced disease reflected changes in the outcome of the treatment more closely than it did routine tumor marker assessment. The activity of NK cells seems unaffected by changes in basal blood estradiol, cortisol, testosterone, and prolactin concentrations that occur during therapy with pharmacological agents (estradiol, cyproterone acetate, diethylstilbestrol, and flutamide) and during surgical castration. The reported NK activity recordings in treated prostate cancer patients might be indicative of the presence of tumor cells in the circulation. If this holds true, the measurement of NK activity would appear to furnish urological oncology with a new tool for early, rapid recognition of progressive metastatic tumors.[1]


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