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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

Editor-in-Chief: Plebani, Mario

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Volume 48, Issue 10


Clinical significance of serum macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF) in esophageal cancer patients and its comparison with classical tumor markers

Marta Łukaszewicz-Zając / Barbara Mroczko / Mirosław Kozłowski / Jacek Nikliński / Jerzy Laudański / Maciej Szmitkowski
Published Online: 2010-07-07 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2010.274


Background: Hematopoietic growth factors (HGFs), such as macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF) are produced aberrantly in many malignancies. Esophageal cancer (EC) is characterized by late diagnosis, rapid progression and poor survival. The purpose of the present study was to determine the clinical usefulness of M-CSF in the diagnosis of EC and its histological type – squamous cell cancer of the esophagus (ESCC).

Methods: The study included 80 patients with EC (54 with ESCC and 26 with adenocarcinoma of the esophagus) and 30 healthy subjects. The serum concentrations of M-CSF, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and squamous cell cancer antigen (SCC-Ag) were determined using immunoenzyme assays. We defined the percentage of increased concentrations of proteins tested and the areas under the receiver-operating characteristics (ROC) curves.

Results: In EC and ESCC patients, serum concentrations of M-CSF, CEA and SCC-Ag were significantly higher compared with healthy subjects. Concentrations of M-CSF in both groups analyzed (EC and ESCC) showed a tendency for increases with depth of tumor invasion, the presence of lymph node and distant metastases. The combined use of M-CSF with SCC-Ag increased their percentage of increased concentrations, and this value was higher than for classical tumor markers in both groups analyzed. The area under ROC curve for M-CSF was larger than for CEA in EC patients.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest the potential usefulness of serum M-CSF concentrations as a tumor marker for EC, especially in combination with SCC-Ag. However, the diagnostic value of this cytokine may be limited because of its non-specific nature.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2010;48:1467–73.

Keywords: esophageal cancer; M-CSF; tumor markers

About the article

Corresponding author: Professor Maciej Szmitkowski, Department of Biochemical Diagnostics, Medical University, Białystok, Waszyngtona 15 a, 15-269 Białystok, Poland Phone: +48-85-7468785, Fax: +48-85-7468585,

Received: 2009-12-03

Accepted: 2010-04-21

Published Online: 2010-07-07

Published in Print: 2010-10-01

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Volume 48, Issue 10, Pages 1467–1473, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2010.274.

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