Hematopoietic growth factors (HGFs) are involved in the regulation of growth and spread of cancer. Therefore, in the present study, we have investigated in colorectal cancer patients the serum levels of selected HGFs, such as stem cell factor (SCF), interleukin 3 (IL-3), granulocyte-macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), and M-CSF in relation to controls and to the classical tumor markers, such as carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9) in colorectal cancer. Additionally, we have compared the serum levels of cytokines with tumor site and stage and other clinical characteristics such as age and sex. We also defined the receiver-operating characteristics (ROC) curve for HGFs and classical tumor markers. The tested cytokines were measured in 70 patients with colorectal cancer and in 40 healthy subjects. HGFs were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). CEA and CA 19-9 were measured by microparticle enzyme immunoassay. There were significant differences in the levels of circulating SCF, IL-3, M-CSF, GM-CSF, and CEA and CA 19-9 in the colorectal cancer patients compared to the control group. The levels of M-CSF and CEA were significantly higher in patients with a more advanced tumor stage. The significant positive correlation was observed between the CEA and CA 19-9 concentrations. The M-CSF serum levels correlated positively with the tested tumor markers. The M-CSF area under the ROC curve was the largest. These results suggest that M-CSF is, among the tested HGFs, the best candidate for a colorectal cancer tumor marker.
Copyright © 2003 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG