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Serum Cathepsin B to Cystatin C Ratio as a Potential Marker for the Diagnosis of Cholangiocarcinoma

  • Monsouvanh, Ammala (Centre for Research and Development of Medical Diagnostic Laboratories, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Proungvitaya, Tanakorn (Centre for Research and Development of Medical Diagnostic Laboratories, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Limpaiboon, Temduang (Centre for Research and Development of Medical Diagnostic Laboratories, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Wongkham, Chaisiri (Liver Fluke and Cholangiocarcinoma Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Wongkham, Sopit (Liver Fluke and Cholangiocarcinoma Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Luvira, Vor (Liver Fluke and Cholangiocarcinoma Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Proungvitaya, Siriporn (Centre for Research and Development of Medical Diagnostic Laboratories, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University)
  • Published : 2014.11.28

Abstract

Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a cancer of the bile duct epithelial cells. The highest incidence rate of CCA with a poor prognosis and poor response to chemotherapy is found in Southeast Asian countries, especially in northeastern Thailand and Lao PDR. Cathepsin B is a lysosomal cysteine protease which is regulated by cysteine proteinase inhibitors such as cystatin C. Elevation of cathepsin B levels in biological fluid has been observed in patients with inflammatory diseases and many cancers. We aimed to investigate the serum cathepsin B and cystatin C levels of CCA patients to evaluate the feasibility of using cathepsin B and cystatin C as markers for the diagnosis of CCA. Fifty-six sera from CCA patients, 17 with benign biliary diseases (BBD) and 13 from controls were collected and the cathepsin B and cystatin C levels were determined. In addition, cathepsin B expression was investigated immunohistochemically for 9 matched-pairs of cancerous and adjacent tissues of CCA patients. Serum cathepsin B, but not cystatin C, was significantly higher in CCA and BBD patient groups compared to that in the control group. Consistently, all cancerous tissues strongly expressed cathepsin B while adjacent tissues were negative in 7 out of 9 cases. In contrast, serum cystatin C levels were comparable between CCA and control groups, although serum cystatin C levels in the BBD group was higher than that in the control or CCA groups. When the serum cathepsin B to cystatin C ratio was calculated, that of the CCA group was significantly higher than that of the control group, and, although statistically not significant, the ratio of CCA group showed a trend to be higher than that of the BBD group. Thus, the cathepsin B to cystatin C ratio might be used as an alternative marker for aiding diagnosis of CCA.

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