Original articles

Comparative evaluation of plasma levels and diagnostic values of macrophage‑colony stimulating factor in patients with breast cancer and benign tumors

Sławomir Ławicki, Małgorzata Czygier, Ewa Będkowska, Marek Wojtukiewicz, Maciej Szmitkowski
Published online: September 01, 2008
INTRODUCTION Macrophage‑colony stimulating factor (M‑CSF) is one of the glycoproteins called hematopoetic growth factors. The direct production of this cytokine has been reported in tumor cell lines in vitro and in solid tumors in vivo. OBJECTIVES In the present study, the levels of M-CSF in patients with breast cancer and in those with a benign breast tumor were evaluated. Moreover, diagnostic values were determined through assesing diagnostic sensitivity and specificity as well as predictive value of positive (PV+ve) and negative (PV–ve) results. The results obtained were compared to the CA 15-3 and a control group. PATIENTS AND METHODS The study group was made up of 70 patients with breast cancer and 20 patients with benign tumors and the control group of 30 healthy women. M-CSF was assayed using an ELISA method. CA 15-3 was measured by means of an immunoenzymatic method (MEIA) from ABBOT. RESULTS Statistically higher levels of M‑CSF and CA 15-3 were found in breast cancer patients as compared to the benign tumor and control groups. These levels were also significantly higher in patients with more advanced stages of cancer. A positive correlation between M‑CSF and CA 15-3 levels was observed. The diagnostic sensitivity of M‑CSF (58%), a specificity (93%), PV+ve (94%) and PV–ve (43%) were higher or equal to the values obtained for CA 15-3 (49%, 93%, 93% and 40%, respectively). When both parameters studied were determined jointly, sensitivity increased to 72%. CONCLUSIONS The above data suggests that M‑CSF might be useful in both diagnostics and differential diagnosis of benign tumors and breast cancer (except for the lowest degree of the clinical progression).

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