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  • Serum cathepsin H as a potential prognostic marker in patients with colorectal cancer.

Serum cathepsin H as a potential prognostic marker in patients with colorectal cancer.

The International journal of biological markers (2005-01-14)
A Schweiger, I J Christensen, H J Nielsen, S Sørensen, N Brünner, J Kos
ABSTRACT

Cathepsin H is a lysosomal cysteine protease that may participate in tumor progression. In order to evaluate its potential as a prognostic marker, its protein levels were measured by ELISA in preoperative sera from 324 patients with colorectal cancer. The level of cathepsin H was significantly increased in patient sera, the median level was 8.4 ng/mL versus 2.1 ng/mL in 90 healthy blood donors (p < 0.0001). A weak association of cathepsin H levels was found with patient age (p = 0.02) but not with Dukes' stage, sex, or the level of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). In survival analysis a significant difference was found between the group of patients with low cathepsin H (first tertile) who had a poor prognosis and the remaining patients (p = 0.03). The risk of patients was further stratified when cathepsin H levels were combined with CEA. Patients with high CEA and low cathepsin H had the highest risk of death with a hazard ratio of 2.72 (95% CI 1.73-4.28), p < 0.0001. Our results show that the prognostic information of cathepsin H differs from that of the related cathepsins B and L and suggest different roles during the progression of malignant disease.