1Clinical and Chemical Pathology Department, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, Egypt
2Surgical Oncology Department, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, Egypt.
3Clinical and Chemical Pathology Department, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, Egypt.
4Medical Oncology Department, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, Egypt.
Background: Prior series investigated the expression of prepro-gastrin releasing peptide (prepro-GRP) in the peripheral blood of lung cancer patients. Our aim was to assess any prepro-GRP role as a prognostic factor for small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and NSCLC and correlations with clinical presentation and treatment outcome. Methods: A prospective study was conducted during the time period from the beginning of January 2012 till the end of January 2014. Prepro-GRP expression was analysed using a nested RT-PCR assay in peripheral blood of 62 untreated lung cancer patients attending the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Cairo University, and 30 age and sex matched healthy volunteers. Results: Among the 62 lung cancer cases, there were 24 (38.7%) SCLC, and 38 (61.3%) NSCLC (10 squamous cell carcinomas, 12 adenocarcinomas, 11 large cell carcinomas, 4 undifferentiated carcinomas, and 1 adenosquamous carcinoma). Twenty six patients (41.9%) were prepro-GRP positive. Prepro-GRP expression was higher (58.3%) among SCLC patients compared to NSCLC (squamous cell carcinoma (15.4%), large cell carcinoma (36.4%), and adenocarcinoma (25%)). Mean OS among prepro-GRP negative cases was longer than that among preprogastrin positive cases (17.6 vs 14.9 months). The mean PFS durations among preprogastrin negative versus positive cases were 7.7 vs 4.6 months (p= 0.041). No difference in response to chemotherapy was identified between the groups (p=0.983). Conclusion: Prepro-GRP is suggested to be a useful prognostic marker for lung cancer patients, especially with the fast- growing, bad prognostic SCLC type. More studies should aim at detailed understanding of the mechanisms of prepro-GRP action and its use in monitoring the response to treatment in a larger cohort.