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Clin Chem Lab Med. 2007;45(1):30-4.

Serum levels of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) in pancreatic cancer patients.

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Department of Biochemical Diagnostics, Medical University, Białystok, Poland.



Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive malignancy of the gastrointestinal tract and one of the most lethal human cancers. It has been shown that endogenous cytokines, produced aberrantly in many malignancies, including pancreatic cancer, may act as autocrine growth factors or as indicators of the immune response to tumors. Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) and macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF) are hematopoietic growth factors (HGFs), i.e., cytokines that induce proliferation of hematopoietic and cancer cells.


Serum levels of G-CSF, M-CSF, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9) were determined using immunoenzymatic assays in 62 patients with pancreatic cancer before and 30 days after surgery, and in 65 healthy controls.


Cancer patients had significantly higher levels of all parameters measured compared to healthy subjects, especially in non-resectable tumors. Higher values of diagnostic parameters [specificity, sensitivity and area under receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve] were observed for M-CSF than G-CSF, and for combined use of M-CSF with CA 19-9. Based on Cox analysis, elevated preoperative serum M-CSF was a significant prognostic factor for patient survival, although not independent of tumor stage.


Our findings suggest the usefulness of M-CSF as a tumor marker for pancreatic cancer, especially in combination with CA 19-9.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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