Plasma Osteopontin Is a Useful Diagnostic Biomarker for Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

  • Han, Seon-Sook (Department of Internal Medicine, Kangwon National University School of Medicine) ;
  • Lee, Seung-Joon (Department of Internal Medicine, Kangwon National University School of Medicine) ;
  • Kim, Woo Jin (Department of Internal Medicine, Kangwon National University School of Medicine) ;
  • Ryu, Dong Ryeol (Department of Internal Medicine, Kangwon National University School of Medicine) ;
  • Won, Jun Yeon (Department of Otolaryngology, Kangwon National University School of Medicine) ;
  • Park, Shinyoung (The Research Department, Kangwon Regional Cancer Center, Kangwon National University Hospital) ;
  • Cheon, Myeong Ju (The Clinical Research Institute of Kangwon National University Hospital)
  • Received : 2013.04.01
  • Accepted : 2013.05.31
  • Published : 2013.09.30


Background: Osteopontin (OPN) and carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX), which are expressed on the surface of tumor cells, are associated with hypoxia during tumor development and progression. However, the roles of these proteins in the plasma of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are poorly understood. Herein, we hypothesized that plasma OPN and CAIX levels could be used as diagnostic and prognostic tumor markers in patients with NSCLC. Methods: Fifty-three patients with NSCLC and 50 healthy control subjects were enrolled. We selected controls without malignancy and matched them with NSCLC patient cases according to age and gender. Blood samples were collected at the time of diagnosis; the plasma levels of OPN and CAIX were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Results: The plasma levels of OPN in the patients with NSCLC were significantly elevated as compared to those in the controls (p=0.016). However, there was no difference in the plasma level of CAIX between the NSCLC patients and controls. NSCLC patients with a distant metastasis had a remarkable increase in plasma OPN compared with patients without metastasis (p=0.026), but no such correlation was found for CAIX. There was no difference in overall survival rates according to the plasma level of OPN between the two groups (by Kaplan-Meier survival analysis). Conclusion: Plasma OPN levels were elevated in patients with NSCLC as compared with the controls, with greater elevation of OPN levels in the advanced stages of disease. Therefore, plasma OPN may have utility as a diagnostic, but not prognostic, biomarker of advanced NSCLC.


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