Evaluation of somatostatin as a plasma tumor marker in medullary thyroid carcinoma.

Somatostatin (SRIF) immunoreactivity has been frequently reported in tumor tissues of cell types, belonging to the APUD system, including medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). However, the value of SRIF as a plasma tumor marker for MTC is controversial. We have measured SRIF plasma levels in 35 patients with different stages of MTC to evaluate the use of SRIF as a plasma tumor marker compared to the current "gold standard" calcitonin (CT). The median SRIF value in healthy controls was 36.5 pg/mL, the upper limit of normal was defined at the controls. The median value was 28 pg/mL (p = 0.37, Mann-Whitney U test). Five patients in the control group and three in the MTC group had SRIF levels that exceed the 95th percentile. SRIF and CT levels correlated only weakly (0.38), as determined by the Spearman rank order correlation test. Pentagastrin stimulation led to a diagnostic increase in SRIF levels in only one of five MTC patients. During selective venous catheterization, diagnostic gradients for CT, allowing tumor localization, could be demonstrated, whereas measurement of SRIF levels did not aid in tumor detection. Although SRIF immunostaining may be valuable as an additional marker in the histochemical diagnosis of MTC, SRIF has no value as a plasma tumor marker in the diagnosis of this disease.
AuthorsA Grauer, J Schroth, R Ziegler, F Raue
JournalThyroid : official journal of the American Thyroid Association (Thyroid) Vol. 5 Issue 4 Pg. 287-91 (Aug 1995) ISSN: 1050-7256 [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID7488870 (Publication Type: Comparative Study, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)
Chemical References
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Somatostatin
  • Calcitonin
  • Pentagastrin
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers, Tumor (blood)
  • Calcitonin (blood)
  • Carcinoma, Medullary (blood)
  • Catheterization, Central Venous
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pentagastrin
  • Somatostatin (blood)
  • Thyroid Neoplasms (blood)

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