High plasma levels of pro-NT are associated with increased colon cancer risk

in Endocrine-Related Cancer
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  • 1 Department of Family Medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
  • 2 Markey Cancer Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA
  • 3 Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  • 4 Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to L Li or B M Evers: LL8NV@Virginia.edu or Mark.evers@uky.edu

*(L Li and H L Weiss contributed equally to this work)

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Emerging data supports a potential role of neurotensin (NT) in the development of obesity, obesity-associated comorbidities, and certain cancers. The association of NT with colon cancer risk has not been explicitly explored. We determined plasma levels of pro-NT, a stable NT precursor fragment, in 223 incident colon cancer patients and 223 age-, gender-, BMI-matched population controls participating in a population-based case–control study of colon cancer. On average, the cases have significantly higher levels of pro-NT than the controls (median = 205.6 pmol/L vs 183.1 pmol/L, respectively; P = 0.02). Multivariate logistic regression models, adjusted for age, gender, BMI, family history of colorectal cancer, smoking, diabetes mellitus, alcohol, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs use, show statistically significant risk associations: for continuous measure of pro-NT, the OR estimate was 1.30 (95% CI =1.03–1.64; P = 0.026) for each increment of 175 pmol/L; for dichotomized measure of pro-NT, the OR estimate was 1.75 (95% CI = 1.12–2.74; P = 0.025) for those in the top quartile comparing to the other participants. Our results support circulating levels of pro-NT as a novel risk biomarker for colon cancer.

 

      Society for Endocrinology

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