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PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e34264. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0034264. Epub 2012 Mar 30.

Lower blood calcium associates with unfavorable prognosis and predicts for bone metastasis in NSCLC.

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  • 1Bio-bank Center, Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Shandong University, Jinan, People's Republic of China.


Ionized calcium was involved in various cellular signal pathways,and regulates many cellular processes, including those relevant to tumorigenesis. We hypothesis that imbalance of calcium homeostasis is correlated with development of lung carcinomas. We collected the clinical data of 1084 patients with non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated in Shandong Provincial Hospital, Shandong University. Logistic regression was used to determine the association between calcium levels and clinical characteristics, and COX regression and Kaplan-Meier model were applied to analyze risk factors on overall survival. Blood electrolytes were tested before treatment; and nearly 16% patients with NSCLC were complained with decreased blood calcium, which is more frequent than that in other electrolytes. Further, Multivariate logistic regression analysis disclosed that there were significant correlation between blood calcium decrease and moderate and poor differentiation (P = 0.012, OR = 1.926 (1.203-4.219)), squamous cell carcinoma (P = 0.024, OR = 1.968(1.094-3.540)), and bone metastasis (P = 0.032, OR = 0.396(0.235-0.669)). In multivariate COX regression analysis, advanced lymph node stage and decreased blood calcium were significantly and independent, unfavorable prognostic factors (P<0.001). Finally, the Kaplan-Meier Survival curve revealed that blood calcium decrease was associated with shorter survival (Log-rank; χ(2) = 26.172,P<0.001). Our finding indicates that lower blood calcium levels are associated with a higher risk of unfavorable prognosis and bone metastasis of NSCLC.

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