Approximately 500,000 individuals worldwide die from colorectal cancer every year, making colorectal cancer second only to lung cancer in the number of cancer-related deaths. Colorectal cancer is a disease with a high cure rate when detected at an early stage. For that reason, regular colorectal cancer screening should be an inherent part of health care, beginning at the age of 50.
Current procedures for diagnosis and biomarker examination of colorectal cancer (CRC) are invasive and unpleasant. There is a great need to identify sensitive and specific biomarkers for early diagnosis of CRC. Circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) are promising molecular markers for CRC prediction. We performed a comprehensive metaanalysis to integrate an evaluation index for diagnostic accuracy of circulating miRNAs in diagnosing CRC patients. Furthermore, we conducted an independent validation set of 49 CRC patients and 49 healthy controls. In our meta-analysis, we found that miR-21 yielded a pooled area under ROC curve (AUC) of 0.867 (sensitivity: 76%, specificity: 82%) in discriminating CRC from controls, and miR92a yielded a summary AUC of 0.803 (sensitivity: 77%, specificity: 68%); miR-21 had a higher diagnostic efficiency than miR-92a. In the further validation, plasma miR-21 levels in CRC patients were significantly higher than levels observed in healthy subjects. A ROC curve analysis showed a consistent result. However, this phenotype was not present in miR-92a. Moreover, the expression trend of miR21 in plasma samples was in line with that of tissue samples, along with the cellular level. Current evidences suggest that plasma miR21 could be a reliable and non-invasive biomarker for CRC diagnosis. Studies with larger cohorts that include the diagnostic value of plasma miR-21 for CRC are warranted.
Zinc-α-2-glycoprotein (AZGP1) is a 41-kDa secreted glycoprotein, which has been detected in several malignancies. The diagnostic value of AZGP1 in serum of prostate and breast cancer patients has been reported. Analyzing “The Cancer Genome Atlas” data, we found that in colon cancer AZGP1 gene expression was upregulated at transcriptional level. We hypothesized that AZGP1 could be used as a diagnostic marker of colon cancer. First, we confirmed AZGP1 expression was higher in a set of 28 tumor tissues than in normal colonic mucosa tissues by real-time quantitative PCR and western blot in a Chinese population. We verified that serum concentration of AZGP1 was higher in 120 colon cancer patients compared with 40 healthy controls by ELISA (p < 0.001). Then receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was used to evaluate the predictive diagnostic value of AZGP1 in serum. The area under the curve (AUC) of AZGP1 was 0.742 (p < 0.001, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.656–0.827) in between the AUC of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and the AUC of CA19-9, suggesting that predictive diagnostic value of AZGP1 is between CEA and Carbohydrate 19-9 (CA19-9). The combination of AZGP1 with traditional serum biomarkers, CEA and CA19-9, could result in better diagnostic results. To further validate the diagnostic value of AZGP1, a tissue microarray containing 190 samples of primary colon cancer tissue paired with normal colonic tissue was analysed and the result showed that AZGP1 was significantly upregulated in 68.4% (130 of 190) of the primary cancer lesions. In contrast, there was a weakly positive staining in 29.5% (56 of 190) of the normal colonic tissue samples (p < 0.001). Leave-one-out cross-validation was performed on the serum data, and showed that the diagnostic value of AZGP1 had 63.3% sensitivity and 65.0% specificity. Combination of AZGP1, CEA and CA19-9 had improved diagnosis value accuracy with 74.2% sensitivity and 72.5% specificity. These results suggest that AZGP1 is a useful diagnostic biomarker in tissues and serum from a Chinese population
Colorectal cancer is one of the major causes of cancer-related death in the Western world. Patient survival is highly dependent on the tumor stage at the time of diagnosis. Reduced sensitivity to chemotherapy is still a major obstacle in effective treatment of advanced disease. Due to the fact that colorectal cancer is mostly asymptomatic until it progresses to advanced stages, the implementation of screening programs aimed at early detection is essential to reduce incidence and mortality rates. Current screening and diagnostic methods range from semi-invasive procedures such as colonoscopy to noninvasive stool-based tests. The combination of the absence of symptoms, the semi-invasive nature of currently used methods, and the suboptimal accuracy of fecal blood tests results in colorectal cancer diagnosis at advanced stages in a significant number of individuals. Alterations in gene expression leading to colorectal carcinogenesis are reflected in dysregulated levels of nucleic acids and proteins, which can be used for the development of novel, minimally invasive molecular biomarkers. The purpose of this review is to discuss the commercially available colorectal cancer molecular diagnostic methods as well as to highlight some of the new candidate predictive and prognostic molecular markers for tumor, stool, and blood samples.
The study was to investigate whether 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) uptake, analyzed by positron emission tomography (PET), can be used preoperatively to predict survival in Chinese patients with colorectal carcinoma. Methods: A prospectively maintained colorectal cancer database was retrospectively reviewed between June 2009 and December 2011. All included patients had been newly diagnosed with colorectal cancer (of various stages) and evaluated by 18F-FDG-PET/computed tomography (CT) within the 2 weeks preceding surgery. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to determine whether the maximal standardized uptake value (SUVmax) and various clinicopathological and immunohistochemical factors were correlated with survival. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve and Kaplan-Meier survival curve analyses were used to explore whether SUVmax could predict survival in these patients. A total of 107 patients were enrolled in the study (mean age, 59.26 ± 12.66 years; 66.35 % males), with 77 surviving to the end of follow-up (average 60 months). Univariate analysis indicated that tumor size, TNM stage, nodal metastasis, the ratio of metastasized nodes to retrieved nodes, cyclin D1 immunostaining and SUVmax correlated with survival (P < 0.05). Multivariate analysis showed that only TNM stage and SUVmax were associated with survival (P < 0.05). ROC curve analysis determined the optimal SUVmax cutoff for predicting survival to be 11.85 (sensitivity, 73.3 %; specificity, 75.3 %). Survival was significantly longer in patients with preoperative SUVmax ≤11.85 (P < 0.001, log-rank test). SUVmax, measured by 18F-FDG-PET/CT, provides a useful preoperative prognostic factor for patients with colorectal cancer.
The majority of colorectal cancer (CRC) cases are preventable by early detection and removal of precancerous polyps. Even though CRC is the second most common internal cancer in Australia, only 30 per cent of the population considered to have risk factors participate in stool-based test screening programs. Evidence indicates a robust, blood-based, diagnostic assay would increase screening compliance. A number of potential diagnostic bloodbased protein biomarkers for CRC have been reported, but all lack sensitivity or specificity for use as a stand-alone diagnostic. The aim of this study was to identify and validate a panel of protein-based biomarkers in independent cohorts that could be translated to a reliable, non-invasive blood-based screening test.
Early diagnosis of colorectal cancer, a frequent neoplasia in industrialized countries, permits curative surgery. In this study we assessed the clinical role of serum tumor markers determination in diagnosing, staging, and grading colorectal cancer; the role of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), CA 19-9, tissue polypeptide antigen (TPA) and CA 72-4 in colorectal cancer follow-up was also assessed. In 114 patients with colorectal cancer, the oncofetal antigen CEA was compared with the membrane-associated glycoproteins CA 19-9, CA 242, and CA 72-4 and with the cytokeratins TPA, tissue polypeptide-specific antigen (TPS) and tissue polypeptide monoclonal antigen (TPM). Overall, the most sensitive indices were TPA and TPS (67% and 7096, respectively). Tumor stage influenced the levels of CEA, CA 19-9, and TPA, but not those of TPS, while tumor grade influenced CEA and TPS, but not CA 72-4, TPA, and TPM. TPA was the most sensitive index in identifying early or well-differentiated colorectal cancers. The sensitivity was enhanced when this marker was determined in combination with CEA, in diagnosing both advanced and early colorectal tumors. Seventy-seven patients were followed up after therapy for at least 18 months. CEA was the most sensitive index of recurrence (58%); however, this sensitivity is too low to consider tumor markers useful in colorectal cancer follow-up.
Novel noninvasive blood-based screening tests are strongly desirable for early detection of colorectal cancer. We aimed to conduct a head-to-head comparison of the diagnostic performance of 92 plasma-based tumor-associated protein biomarkers for early detection of colorectal cancer in a true screening setting. Among all available 35 carriers of colorectal cancer and a representative sample of 54 men and women free of colorectal neoplasms recruited in a cohort of screening colonoscopy participants in 2005–2012 (N ¼ 5,516), the plasma levels of 92 protein biomarkers were measured. ROC analyses were conducted to evaluate the diagnostic performance. A multimarker algorithm was developed through the Lasso logistic regression model and validated in an independent validation set. The .632þ bootstrap method was used to adjust for the potential overestimation of diagnostic performance. Seventeen protein markers were identified to show statistically significant differences in plasma levels between colorectal cancer cases and controls. The adjusted area under the ROC curves (AUC) of these 17 individual markers ranged from 0.55 to 0.70. An eight-marker classifier was constructed that increased the adjusted AUC to 0.77 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.59–0.91]. When validating this algorithm in an independent validation set, the AUC was 0.76 (95% CI, 0.65–0.85), and sensitivities at cutoff levels yielding 80% and 90% specificities were 65% (95% CI, 41–80%) and 44% (95% CI, 24–72%), respectively. The identified profile of protein biomarkers could contribute to the development of a powerful multimarker blood-based test for early detection of colorectal cancer.
There is an increasing demand for biomarkers in colon cancer for risk assessment, early detection, prognosis, and surrogate end points. A number of biomarkers have been identified for early detection of colon cancer, although the risk factors have not been identified extensively. The major advances in understanding colorectal cancer include the identification and the involvement of APC, p53, and Ki-ras in the development and progression of the disease, the identification of the aberrant crypt foci as an early preinvasive lesion, and its relation to the development of cancer. Detecting malignant neoplasms in the early stages offers clinical advantages; therefore, the National Cancer Institute has established an Early Detection Research Network. The emphasis of the network is on translational research and collaboration among scientists.
Colorectal cancer is among the leading causes of cancer-related mortality, one of the main reasons for which is the lack of an effective screening method for early-stage disease. The levels of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and microRNA (miR)-17-3p in the serum of 70 patients with stage I̸II colon cancer and 70 healthy volunteers were determined, and the diagnostic value of CEA plus miR-17-3p detection for colon cancer was assessed. The levels of CEA were measured by a radioimmunoassay method, and those of miR-17-3p using the reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction method. miR-16 was used as the endogenous control, as it displayed high stability, high abundance and low variability in the analyzed serum samples. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis indicated the potential diagnostic value of the two markers and the area under the ROC curve (AUC) for CEA and miR-17-3p was 0.719 (95% CI: 0.658-0.843) and 0.807 (95% CI: 0.748-0.906), respectively. At a threshold of 9.6 ng/ml for CEA, the optimal sensitivity and specificity were 74.6 and 84.3%, respectively, in discriminating colon cancer patients from healthy controls. At a threshold of 2.98 for miR-17-3p, the sensitivity and the specificity were 83.6 and 72.9%, respectively. A combined ROC analysis using CEA and miR-17-3p revealed an AUC of 0.929 (95% CI: 0.834-0.978) with a sensitivity of 96.4% and a specificity of 95.7% in discriminating colon cancer patients from healthy controls. In conclusion, both CEA and miR-17-3p were highly expressed in the serum of our series of colon cancer patients. CEA plus miR-17-3p detection significantly increased the sensitivity and specificity in discriminating stage I/II colon cancer patients from healthy controls. Therefore, combined detection of serum CEA and miR-17-3p levels may have the potential to become a new laboratory method for the early clinical diagnosis of colon cancer.