The combined use of serum neurotensin and IL-8 as screening markers for colorectal cancer
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This pilot study aimed to determine the feasibility of serum neurotensin/IL-8 values being used as a screening tool for colorectal cancer. Fifty-six patients and 15 healthy controls were assigned to seven groups according to their disease entity based on theater records and histology report. Blood samples for neurotensin and IL-8 were measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. There were no differences in the clinical and biochemical parameters of patients and controls. Group (p = 0.003) and age (p = 0.059, marginally significant) were independent predictors of neurotensin plasma values. Neurotensin (p = 0.004) and IL-8 (p = 0.029) differed between healthy and colorectal cancer patients. Neurotensin values differentiate the control group from all remaining groups. The value of plasma neurotensin ≤54.47 pg/ml at enrollment selected by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves demonstrated a sensitivity of 77 %, specificity of 90 %, and an estimate of area under ROC curve (accuracy) of 85 % in predicting colorectal cancer. At enrollment, the value of plasma IL-8 ≥8.83 pg/ml had a sensitivity of 85 %, specificity 80 %, and an estimate of area under ROC curve (accuracy) of 81 % in predicting colorectal cancer. IL-8 should be used complementary to neurotensin due to its lower specificity. None of the colorectal cancer patients displayed a combination of high neurotensin and low IL-8 values (beyond cutoffs). It seems that a blood neurotensin/IL-8 system may be used as a screening tool for colorectal cancer, but much has to be done before it is validated in larger-scale prospective studies.
KeywordsIL-8 Neurotensin Colon cancer Rectal cancer Colorectal cancer screening Sensitivity and specificity
The present work was funded by the Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece, annual budget 2012.
Conflicts of interest
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