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

Relationship between serum concentrations of the growth factor pleiotrophin and pleiotrophin-positive tumors.

BACKGROUND: Growth factors produced by tumor cells are essential for tumor expansion and may be useful in monitoring tumor progression or therapeutic efficacy if the factors are released into the circulation. In this study, we measured serum levels of pleiotrophin, a secreted heparin-binding growth and angiogenesis factor, in mice bearing human tumor xenografts to determine whether these levels reflected overall tumor burden, and we examined the relationship between tumor expression of pleiotrophin and serum levels of this factor in patients with cancer. METHODS: Pleiotrophin in serum from mice and humans was measured by use of a highly sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. For the clinical studies, serum specimens were obtained from 193 patients with various cancers of the gastrointestinal tract and from 28 healthy control subjects. In a subset of 64 cancer patients, serum levels of pleiotrophin were measured at the time of surgery, and tumor expression of this factor was detected immunohistochemically. All P values are two-sided. RESULTS: In mice, serum pleiotrophin levels were found to increase as a function of tumor size. In humans, elevated serum pleiotrophin levels were found in patients with pancreatic cancer (n = 41; P<.0001) and colon cancer (n = 65; P = .0079) but not in patients with stomach cancer (n = 87; P =.42). A statistically significant positive association was found between elevated levels of pleiotrophin in serum drawn at the time of surgery and expression of this factor by tumors (P<.0001). In both mice and humans, serum pleiotrophin levels dropped after successful tumor removal. CONCLUSIONS: Elevated serum pleiotrophin levels can indicate the presence of tumors expressing this factor. Monitoring serum levels of pleiotrophin may prove useful in determining the pharmacologic efficacy of cytotoxic or anti-pleiotrophin therapy.[1]


  1. Relationship between serum concentrations of the growth factor pleiotrophin and pleiotrophin-positive tumors. Souttou, B., Juhl, H., Hackenbruck, J., Röckseisen, M., Klomp, H.J., Raulais, D., Vigny, M., Wellstein, A. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. (1998) [Pubmed]
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