Altered levels of circulating adhesion molecules found in several carcinomas, including lung cancer, reflect local loss of diffusion barriers and tumor volume and can be potentially used as biomarkers. In the present study, we investigated the role of soluble E-cadherin (sE-cad), soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), and soluble E-selectin (sE-sel) as biomarkers in lung cancer.
Sixty-two patients with recently diagnosed lung cancer, 42 with small cell lung cancer (SCLC), and 20 with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), as well as 29 healthy volunteers were enrolled. Blood samples were collected at the time of diagnosis and measurement of soluble adhesion molecules in the serum samples was performed by enzyme-linked immunoassay using monoclonal antibodies against E-cadherin, E-selectin, and ICAM-1.
Serum levels of sE-cad, sE-sel, and sICAM-1 in both SCLC and NSCLC were significantly elevated compared with control subjects (P < .001). In addition, patients with SCLC or NSCLC with distant metastasis had a marked increase of sE-Cad (P < .001), but no such correlation with sE-sel and sICAM-1 was found.
Our findings suggest that sE-cad, sE-sel, and sICAM-1 have an adjunctive diagnostic role in lung cancer. Furthermore, sE-cad may also have a prognostic role and could be a useful biomarker in the prediction of lung cancer outcome.