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Thromb Haemost. 1992 Jun 1;67(6):607-11.

Thrombospondin levels in patients with malignancy.

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Department of Medicine, Medical College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19129.

Erratum in

  • Thromb Haemost 1992 Oct 5;68(4):485.


Thrombospondin (TSP), a large glycoprotein present in platelets, and various normal and tumor tissues, has recently been shown to promote cell adhesion and platelet aggregation. Most importantly because TSP has been shown to promote metastasis of melanoma tumor cells to the lung in a murine model (1) and since thromboembolic events commonly occur in patients afflicted with metastatic tumors, we explored the role of TSP in human cancer by measuring TSP blood levels in patients with various malignant neoplasms. Blood TSP levels were measured by indirect enzyme-linked immunoadsorbent assay (ELISA) from 20 control subjects, 22 patients with gastrointestinal (GI) cancer, 18 patients with breast cancer, and 17 patients with lung cancer. Control subjects consisted both of healthy subjects and acutely ill patients with no malignancies. TSP levels of both healthy and acutely ill controls were found to range between 245-440 ng/ml with a mean of 365 ng/ml. In contrast, elevated levels of TSP greater than the mean value of 400 ng/ml for controls ranging between 590-3,650 ng/ml were found in 20/22 (91%) patients with GI malignancies, 13/18 (72%) patients with breast cancer, and 15/17 (88%) with lung cancer. Mean TSP levels of GI, breast, and lung cancer patients were 3, 2, and 3 fold greater than controls, respectively. Increased blood TSP levels in patients were not due to increased levels of platelets since both control and patient groups had platelet counts within the normal range. These results suggest that TSP may play a role in tumor cell metastasis in man and could serve as a blood marker for metastasis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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