CD44 is a transmembrane glycoprotein involved in cell-cell and cell-substrate interactions. As a cell surface molecule, CD44 may be shed or released into the circulation by proteolytic enzymatic mechanisms. Therefore, soluble CD44 can be found in cell culture supernatants as well as in plasma. In this study we evaluated the levels of soluble total CD44 (sCD44) in serum samples of patients with breast and colorectal carcinoma as well as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in order to correlate prognosis with sCD44 expression. Besides, we evaluated other clinical tumour markers routinely used, Cancer Antigen (CA) 15.3 and CA 19.9. We investigated 132 serological samples from breast cancer patients, 48 sera from colorectal tumours, 48 samples from stage IV non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and sera from 80 individuals without evidence of cancer or autoimmune disease. Breast cancer patients were divided into three groups: a) patients with no clinical evidence of positive nodules and no metastatic disease; b) patients with positive nodules; and c) patients with metastasis. sCD44 mean serum levels in these groups were 198+/-54 ng/ml, 221+/-78 ng/ml and 242+/-119 ng/ml, respectively, while the marker CA 15.3 values were 15.6+/-6.6 U/ml, 14.0+/-5.8 U/ml and 211.5+/-358.9 U/ml, respectively. sCD44 levels for colorectal tumour were 243+/-72 ng/ml, while CA 19.9 serum levels were 230+/-270 U/ml. Stage IV non-Hodgkin's lymphoma sCD44 levels were 398+/-160 ng/ml. sCD44, CA 15.3 and CA 19.9 values for healthy individuals without evidence of any cancer pathology were 223+/-58 ng/ml, 16.4+/-6.2 U/ml and 33+/-14 U/ml, respectively. From these results we conclude that sCD44 might be used as a reliable marker for patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. However, sCD44 levels failed to correlate with prognosis, tumour burden or metastasis in breast and colorectal cancer patients. Neither was any correlation found between high CA 15.3 or CA 19.9 levels and soluble CD44 serum level.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research