Stem cell factor in the serum of patients with esophageal cancer in relation to its histological types
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Submission date: 2015-09-23
Final revision date: 2015-10-23
Acceptance date: 2015-11-03
Online publication date: 2016-08-09
Publication date: 2017-10-30
Arch Med Sci 2017;13(6):1357–1364
Introduction: Hematopoietic growth factors (HGFs), such as stem cell factor (SCF), may stimulate proliferation and differentiation of hematopoietic progenitor cells. Stem cell factor is also able to affect the growth of malignant tumors, including esophageal cancer (EC). The prognosis of EC patients’ survival is still unfavorable. Thus, novel biomarkers are necessary to improve the diagnosis and prognosis of EC patients. The aim of this study was to determine the serum SCF concentrations in EC patients in relation to its histological types and compare these levels with the classical tumor marker – carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA).
Material and methods: The study included 56 EC patients and 65 healthy controls. Serum SCF and CEA concentrations were measured using immunoenzyme assays. Moreover, diagnostic criteria of both proteins tested and the survival of EC patients were assessed.
Results: The serum SCF concentrations were lower in EC patients compared to healthy controls, but the difference was not significant, whereas CEA levels were higher in EC patients than in healthy subjects. The serum SCF concentrations were significantly higher in patients with adenocarcinoma of the esophagus (AC) than in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Moreover, the diagnostic sensitivity of SCF (88%) was higher than for CEA (29%) and increased for combined analysis of SCF with CEA.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest the potential role of serum SCF in the diagnosis of EC patients, especially in combination with the classical tumor marker. However, due to the non-specific nature of SCF, this issue requires further investigations performed on a larger population of EC patients.