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Cancer. 2015 Sep 15;121(18):3230-9. doi: 10.1002/cncr.29499. Epub 2015 Jun 8.

Heat shock protein 60 levels in tissue and circulating exosomes in human large bowel cancer before and after ablative surgery.

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Department of Experimental Biomedicine and Clinical Neuroscience, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
Euro-Mediterranean Institute of Science and Technology, Palermo, Italy.
Department of Legal Science, Society and Sports, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
Department of Oncological Surgery, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
Department of Chemical, Management, Informatics and Mechanical Engineering, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.
Department of Therapeutic Research and Medicines Evaluation, National Institute of Health, Rome, Italy.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.
Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, Baltimore, Maryland.



Heat shock protein 60 (Hsp60) is a chaperonin involved in tumorigenesis, but its participation in tumor development and progression is not well understood and its value as a tumor biomarker has not been fully elucidated. In the current study, the authors presented evidence supporting the theory that Hsp60 has potential as a biomarker as well as a therapeutic target in patients with large bowel cancer.


The authors studied a population of 97 subjects, including patients and controls. Immunomorphology, Western blot analysis, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction were performed on tissue specimens. Exosomes were isolated from blood and characterized by electron microscopy, biochemical tests, and Western blot analysis.


Hsp60 was found to be increased in cancerous tissue, in which it was localized in the tumor cell plasma membrane, and in the interstitium associated with cells of the immune system, in which it was associated with exosomes liberated by tumor cells and, as such, circulated in the blood. An interesting finding was that these parameters returned to normal shortly after tumor removal.


The data from the current study suggested that Hsp60 is a good candidate for theranostics applied to patients with large bowel carcinoma and encourage similar research among patients with other tumors in which Hsp60 has been implicated.


colon adenocarcinoma; exosomes; heat shock protein 60 (Hsp60); macrophages; natural killer cells; plasma cell membrane; theranostics

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