Potential role of soluble CD40 ligand as inflammatory biomarker in colorectal cancer patients

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Platelet activation observed in cancer patients is associated with the release of various cytokines, including P-selectin and CD40 ligand (CD40L). We analyzed the plasma levels of sCD40L in association with adhesion molecules (sP-selectin and sVCAM-1) to check the hypothesis of a possible involvement in cancer progression.

Blood samples were obtained from 59 patients with different stages of colorectal cancer (CRC) and 29 age and gendermatched control subjects. Plasma sCD40L, sP-selectin, and sVCAM-1 concentrations were measured with quantitative sandwich enzyme-linked immunoassay.

All patients with CRC had significantly higher levels of sCD40L (p<0.001), sP-selectin (p<0.02), and sVCAM-1 (p<0.03), as compared to healthy subjects. The level of sCD40L significantly correlated with sP-selectin (p<0.05) in patients with distant metastases to the liver. We also observed a high negative correlation between sP-selectin and platelets count (p<0.02) in patients with lymph node metastasis. The receiver-operator curve for CRC patients indicated that the area under the curve for sCD40L was 0.915, which may indicate its high efficiency as an inflammatory marker.

In our study, the sCD40L correlated with sP-selectin in patients with advanced stage of CRC, which might indicate its possible participation in metastasis formation.

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