Platelet VEGF and serum TGF-β1 levels predict chemotherapy response in non-small cell lung cancer patients
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We examined the levels of platelet vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGFPLT) and serum level of transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients before and after chemotherapy to assess their clinical value as biomarkers. A total of 115 subjects were recruited at the First Hospital of Qinhuangdao between July 2012 and October 2013, including 65 NSCLC patients receiving chemotherapy (NSCLC group) and 50 healthy controls (control group). All NSCLC patients received gemcitabine plus cisplatin (GP regimen) for a total of two courses. VEGFPLT and serum TGF-β1 levels were measured before and after chemotherapy using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Platelet count was obtained using the Abbott CD-1600 auto blood analyzer. NSCLC group was categorized into complete response (CR) plus partial response (PR) group and stable disease (SD) plus progressive disease (PD) group based on the results of CT scans obtained 1 week after chemotherapy. Our results revealed that VEGFPLT and serum TGF-β1 levels were significantly higher in NSCLC group before chemotherapy, compared to the control group (VEGFPLT, 0.813 ± 0.072 vs. 0.547 ± 0.024; t = 26.48; P < 0.001 and TGF-β1, 46.00 ± 4.47 vs. 16.43 ± 2.12; t = 44.87; P < 0.001). Importantly, VEGFPLT and serum TGF-β1 levels decreased significantly after chemotherapy in CR + PR group in comparison with before chemotherapy (VEGFPLT, 0.453 ± 0.078 vs. 0.814 ± 0.127; t = 15.51; P < 0.001 and TGF-β1, 20.17 ± 2.43 vs. 42.13 ± 4.54; t = 27.31; P < 0.001). By contrast, VEGFPLT and serum TGF-β1 levels were markedly higher after chemotherapy in the SD + PD group in comparison with before chemotherapy (VEGFPLT, 0.816 ± 0.043 vs. 1.065 ± 0.016; t = 22.38; P < 0.001 and TGF-β1, 41.80 ± 5.46 vs. 45.83 ± 4.62; t = 2.32; P = 0. 03). Our results show that NSCLC patients exhibit high VEGFPLT and serum TGF-β1 levels, and VEGFPLT and TGF-β1 levels correlate with chemotherapy response to GP regimen. Therefore, VEGFPLT and serum TGF-β1 levels are valuable biomarkers in clinical monitoring of NSCLC patients.
KeywordsNon-small cell lung cancer Vascular endothelial growth factor Platelet vascular endothelial growth factor level Transforming growth factor beta 1 Chemotherapy Clinical value Disease activity Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
Non-small cell lung cancer
Vascular endothelial growth factor
Transforming growth factor beta 1
Gemcitabine plus cisplatin
Response evaluation criteria in solid tumors
We would like to acknowledge the reviewers for their helpful comments on this paper.
Conflicts of interests
BH Fu and ZZ Fu designed, conceived, and supervised the study and performed the examination and the analysis. W Meng and T Gu conceived and supervised the study, performed the statistical analysis, and drafted the paper. XD Sun interpreted the results and revised the paper. Z Zhang designed the study and interpreted the results. All authors read and approved the final paper.
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