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Am J Transl Res. 2011 May 15;3(3):226-33. Epub 2011 Apr 2.

Elevated levels of CXC chemokine connective tissue activating peptide (CTAP)-III in lung cancer patients.


Despite advances in treatments, lung cancer has been the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States for the past several decades. Recent findings from the National Lung Screening Trial reveal that low-dose helical computed tomography (CT) scan screening of high-risk individuals reduces lung cancer mortality. This suggests that early detection is of key importance to improving patient outcome. However, of those screened with CT scans, 25% had positive scans that require further follow-up studies which often involve more radiation exposure and invasive tests to reduce false positive results. The purpose of this study was to identify candidate plasma biomarkers to aid in diagnosis of lung cancer in at-risk individuals. We found increased expression of the CXC chemokine connective tissue-activating peptide (CTAP)-III from plasma specimens of lung cancer patients compared to at-risk control subjects. Identification of the peptide was confirmed by the addition of an anti-NAP-2 antibody that recognizes CTAP-III and NAP-2. We also quantified and verified the increased levels of plasma CTAP-III with ELISA in patients with lung cancer (mean ± SD, 1859 ± 1219 ng/mL) compared to controls (698 ± 434 ng/mL; P<0.001). Our findings demonstrate elevated plasma levels of CTAP-III occur in lung cancer patients. Further studies are required to determine if this chemokine could be utilized in a blood-based biomarker panel for the diagnosis of lung cancer.


CXC chemokines; Lung cancer; connective tissue activating peptide (CTAP)-III; neutrophil activating peptide (NAP)-2


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