Research Papers:

Tenascin-C serum levels and its prognostic power in non-small cell lung cancer

Florian Gebauer _, Suyin Gelis, Hilke Zander, Karl-Frederick Meyer, Gerrit Wolters-Eisfeld, Jakob R. Izbicki, Maximilian Bockhorn and Michael Tachezy

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:20945-20952. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7976

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Florian Gebauer1,*, Suyin Gelis1,*, Hilke Zander1, Karl-Frederick Meyer1, Gerrit Wolters-Eisfeld1, Jakob R. Izbicki1, Maximilian Bockhorn1, Michael Tachezy1

1Department of General, Visceral and Thoracic Surgery, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Michael Tachezy, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: lung cancer, NSCLC, prognostic marker, biomarker, serum

Received: August 11, 2015     Accepted: January 17, 2016     Published: March 8, 2016


Background: Tenascin-C is overexpressed in the stroma of most solid malignancies and may function as a diagnostic tumor marker. This study was conducted to evaluate the potential significance of Tenascin-C as a predictive marker for tumor progression in the sera of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.

Results: Serum concentration of Tenascin-C is significantly elevated in NSCLC patients compared to healthy controls (p=0.013). The sensitivity of Tenascin-C in detecting NSCLC was 74% at a specificity of 57%. Elevated Tenascin-C serum values are associated with larger tumor size and lymph node involvement (p=0.022 and p=0.036, respectively). The Kaplan-Meyer-curves showed a significant association of Tenascin-C with the patient’s overall survival (p=0.004), but not with the recurrence-free survival (p=0.328).

Methods: We quantified Tenascin-C in the sera of 103 NSCLC patients and 76 healthy blood donors by enzyme-linked immune-absorbance assay tests. Prognostic significance was determined by area under the curve analysis and Youden-index. The results were correlated with clinical, histopathological, and patient survival data (Chi-square test, Kaplan-Meier analysis, log-rank test, multivariate Cox-regression analysis).

Conclusion: Although significantly elevated in patients with NSCLC, the sensitivity and specificity of the Tenascin-C serum quantification test was low. However, although failing to be an independent prognosticator in multivariate analysis, the results implicate Tenascin-C as a predictive prognostic marker for NSCLC patients. The data must be further validated in future prospective trials with larger patient cohorts.

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