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Cancer. 2002 Oct 15;95(8):1706-13.

Parathyroid hormone-related protein measured at the time of first visit is an indicator of bone metastases and survival in lung carcinoma patients with hypercalcemia.

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Department of Medicine II, Okayama University Medical School, Okayama, Japan.



Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTH-rP) is a major cause of tumor-induced hypercalcemia (TIH) and frequently is found to be elevated in serum of patients with TIH. In the current study, the authors examined the usefulness of PTH-rP measurement at the time of first presentation in the follow-up of lung carcinoma patients with TIH.


The authors retrospectively studied 23 of 1149 lung carcinoma patients who were found to have TIH at the time of first presentation for the correlation between serum PTH-rP and the development of bone metastases and survival compared with lung carcinoma patients without TIH who were matched by gender, age, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, histological type of tumor, and stage of the disease.


Twenty-three lung carcinoma patients with TIH demonstrated significantly increased serum levels of PTH-rP (mean +/- standard error [SE], 84.1 +/- 16.5 pmol/L) compared with control patients without TIH (mean +/- SE, 36.2 +/- 2.0 pmol/L) at the time of first presentation, (P < 0.001). In these hypercalcemic patients, patients whose serum PTH-rP was > 150 pmol/L (n = 16) were found to have a significantly increased rate of bone metastases (71.4% vs. 12.5%; P = 0.01) and decreased survival (median survival of 1.4 months vs. 5.4 months; P < 0.015) compared with patients whose serum PTH-rP was < 150 pmol/L (n = 7).


The data from the current study suggest that serum PTH-rP as determined at the time of first presentation is a useful indicator of not only hypercalcemia but also bone metastasis and eventual survival in patients with lung carcinoma.

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