, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 143-151
Date: 04 Jul 2009

Serum level of soluble 70-kD heat shock protein is associated with high mortality in patients with colorectal cancer without distant metastasis

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Abstract

Many findings indicate that measuring the serum concentration of soluble 70-kD heat shock protein (soluble HSP70) may provide important information in cardiovascular, inflammatory, and pregnancy-related diseases; however, only scarce data are available in cancer. Therefore, using a commercial ELISA kit, we measured soluble HSP70 concentration in the sera of 179 patients with colorectal cancer. We investigated the relationship between soluble HSP70 concentration and mortality, during 33.0 (24.4–44.0) months long follow-up. High (>1.65 pg/ml, median concentration) soluble HSP70 level was a significant (hazard ratio: 1.88 (1.20–2.96, p = 0.005) predictor of mortality during the follow-up period. When we compared the soluble HSP70 levels in patients with non-resected primary tumors as compared to those who were recruited into the study 4–6 weeks after the tumor resection they were found to be significantly (p = 0.020) higher in the former group. Since the patients with non-resected primary tumors had also distant metastasis and died early, we limited the further analysis to 142 patients with no distant metastasis at the beginning of the follow-up. This association remained significant even after multiple Cox-regression analysis had been performed to adjust the data for age and sex (p = 0.028); age, sex, and TNM-T stage (p = 0.041); age, sex, and TNM-N stage (p = 0.021); age, sex, and histological grade (p = 0.023); or age, sex, and tumor localization (p = 0.029). Further analysis showed that the significant association between high HSP70 levels and poor survival is in the strongest in the group of <70-year-old female patients (HR: 5.52 (2.02-15.15), p = 0.001), as well as in those who were in a less advanced stage of the disease at baseline. These novel findings indicate that the serum level of soluble HSP70 might prove a useful, stage-independent prognostic marker in colorectal cancer without distant metastasis.

Judit Kocsis and Balázs Madaras equally contributed to the work; therefore, they share the first authorship.