Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter October 10, 2007

The soluble transferrin receptor reflects tumor load in chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Georgia Metzgeroth, Beate Schultheis, Christian Kuhn, Alexandra Dorn-Beineke, Paul LaRosée, Rüdiger Hehlmann and Jan Hastka
From the journal


Background: The soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR) is a parameter of erythropoietic activity and iron deficiency. Increased levels have also been described in hematological malignancies, especially in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

Methods: We investigated the value of sTfR in the assessment of tumor mass in 61 previously untreated CLL patients. Both hemolysis and iron deficiency were excluded. sTfR was measured nephelometrically (normal 0.81–1.75 mg/L).

Results: All Binet A patients had normal sTfR values (1.36±0.22 mg/L). In Binet B patients, the sTfR was increased (3.08±1.70 mg/L, p<0.0001) compared to Binet A patients. Binet B patients with normal sTfR had a small tumor load and no abdominal involvement. A further increase of sTfR in Binet C (3.75± 2.32 mg/L) was not significant compared to Binet B patients. sTfR values decreased or even normalized after successful treatment, whereas relapse or disease progression was associated with another increase of sTfR.

Conclusions: The sTfR concentration directly reflects the tumor burden in CLL. Therefore, sTfR may be of clinical value in monitoring disease activity, response to treatment and disease progression.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2007;45:1313–8.

Corresponding author: Prof. Dr. Jan Hastka, III. Medizinische Universitätsklinik, Medizinische Fakultät Mannheim der Universität Heidelberg, Wiesbadener Straße 7-11, 68305 Mannheim, Germany Phone: +49-621-383-4110, Fax: +49-621-383-4201,

Received: 2007-4-4
Accepted: 2007-6-19
Published Online: 2007-10-10
Published in Print: 2007-10-01

©2007 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York