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Cancer Epidemiol. 2013 Oct;37(5):750-3. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2013.04.013. Epub 2013 May 30.

Clinical significance of serum transforming growth factor-β1 in lung cancer.

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  • 1Clinical Laboratories, The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, China.



Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) plays a critical role in human cancer development. Present study aimed to explore the clinical significance of serum TGF-β1 levels in patients with lung cancer and analyze the relationship between TGF-β1 and existing tumor markers for lung cancer.


Serum was collected from 118 patients with lung cancer and 40 healthy volunteers. Serum TGF-β1 levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and the association with various clinical characteristics was analyzed. The diagnostic value of TGF-β1 was assessed alone and in combination with existing tumor markers for lung cancer.


Serum TGF-β1 levels were significantly higher in patients with lung cancer compared to healthy volunteers [0.6 × 10(5) (0.4 × 10(5), 0.9 × 10(5))pg/ml vs 0.5 × 10(5) (0.3 × 10(5), 0.7 × 10(5))pg/ml, P=0.040]. Although there was a positive correlation between serum TGF-β1 levels and advanced stages, the significant difference was not found between early stages and advanced stages (P=0.116). The ability of serum TGF-β1 to discriminate lung cancer at a cutoff value of 79,168 pg/ml exhibited sensitivity of 30.6% and specificity of 97.5%. Serum TGF-β1 levels were correlated to cytokeratin fragment 21-1 (CYFRA21-1; R=0.308, P=0.020) and neuron-specific enolase (NSE; R=0.558, P=0.003). The diagnostic accuracy rates for the existing lung-tumor markers, as SCC, CYFRA21-1, and NSE, were increased from 20.0%, 34.6%, and 45.9% to 48.9%, 51.7%, and 54.5%, respectively by the inclusion of serum TGF-β1 levels.


Quantification of serum TGF-β1 levels by ELISA may provide a novel complementary tool for the clinical diagnosis of lung cancer.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


ELISA; Lung cancer; Transforming growth factor β1

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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