Breast Cancer Anti-Estrogen Resistance Protein 1 (BCAR1/p130cas) in Pulmonary Disease Tissue and Serum


Objective: The purpose of the study was to evaluate clinical presentation of breast cancer anti-estrogen resistance protein 1 (BCAR1, also known as p130cas) expression in pulmonary diseases, and to assess its potential as a molecular marker for diagnosis and prognosis.

Methods: Between March 2008 and August 2010, we enrolled a total of 80 patients (group A) with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), 48 patients (group B) with pulmonary tuberculosis (including 27 cases of tuberculoma and 21 cases of cavitary pulmonary tuberculosis), and 32 patients (group C) with other benign pulmonary mass (hamartoma in 15 cases, inflammatory pseudotumor in 10 cases, fibroid tumor in 7 cases). Additionally, 160 healthy age- and sex-matched volunteers were recruited as healthy controls. Tissue BCAR1 expression was investigated by using tissue microarray and immunohistochemistry. BCAR1 and tumor markers (carcinoma embryonic antigen [CEA] and the cancer antigens CA19-9 and CA125) in serum were assayed by using ELISA and immunoradiometrics, respectively.

Results: BCAR1 expression was detected (either in the nucleus, the cytoplasm, or both) in tumor cells in 79 of the 80 NSCLC cases in group A, and in fibroblasts in 41 of the 48 pulmonary tuberculosis cases in group B. However, it was not detected in the normal adjacent tissue in 70 of the 80 cases in group A and in 47 of the 48 cases in group B. In group C, BCAR1 expression was negative in all 32 cases. Additionally, we investigated adjacent tissue with acute or chronic inflammation in 20 cases from group C, and found no expression of BCAR1. Serum BCAR1 levels were significantly higher in patients with NSCLC than in the control group, increased gradually with the progression of tumor staging, and decreased after removal of the tumors. The levels were significantly lower in bronchioloalveolar carcinoma than in other subtypes of carcinoma (Mann-Whitney U test, Z = −5.089; p<0.001). Serum BCAR1 levels were significantly higher in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis than in the control group, were positively and significantly correlated with the diameter of the tuberculosis lesion (Spearman’s rho, correlation coefficient 0.753; p< 0.001), and decreased after removal of the tuberculosis lesions. The levels were significantly higher in patients with cavitary pulmonary tuberculosis than in those with tuberculoma (517.6 ± 326.5 vs 282.2±137.6; Student’s t-test, t =−3.387; p = 0.001). In group C, there was no appreciable difference in serum BCAR1 levels compared with the matched controls (222.8 ± 111.0 vs 201.6 ± 35.7; Dunnett’s T3 test, p = 0.993). The discrimination power of combining BCAR1 and tumor markers in NSCLC versus benign lung diseases was higher than that of sole use of BCAR1 as a marker (maximal sum of sensitivity and specificity: 1.538 vs 1.237).

Conclusion: We conclude that a combined assay of serum BCAR1 and traditional tumor markers is potentially applicable for distinguishing NSCLC from benign lung diseases. However, the clinical utility of serum BCAR1 as a molecular marker for prognosis in NSCLC or pulmonary tuberculosis requires further clarification and verification.

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The authors wish it to be known publicly that the first two authors (Bo Deng and Wei Huang) should be regarded as joint first authors. We appreciate the editorial board and all the anonymous reviewers for their excellent comments and suggestions that improved our study greatly.

No funding has been received for the conduct of this study or the preparation of this manuscript. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly related to the content of this study.

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Correspondence to Dr Ru-Wen Wang.

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Deng, B., Huang, W., Tan, QY. et al. Breast Cancer Anti-Estrogen Resistance Protein 1 (BCAR1/p130cas) in Pulmonary Disease Tissue and Serum. Mol Diagn Ther 15, 31–40 (2011).

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  • Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve
  • Focal Adhesion Kinase
  • Pulmonary Tuberculosis
  • Normal Adjacent Tissue
  • Matched Control Group