1. Department of Research, Affiliated Tumor Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region 530021, China;
2. Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Affiliated Tumor Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region 530021, China.
* These authors contributed equally to the work.
Despite extensive progress in treatment for cancer in recent decades, the early diagnosis for gastric cancer (GC) and colorectal cancer (CRC) remains poor. In this study, we explore the diagnostic value of joint detection of thymidine kinase 1 (TK1), carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9) and carbohydrate antigen 72-4 (CA 72-4) in the diagnosis of GC and CRC, and to evaluated the relationship between TK1 expression and clinical pathological characteristics in the patients. Serum TK1, CA 19-9, CA 72-4 and CEA levels were measured in 169 patients with GC, 344 patients with CRC and 75 healthy controls using electro-chemiluminescence. The TK1 concentration was significantly higher in patients with cancer than in healthy controls and patients with clinical stage Ⅲ+Ⅳ had higher TK1 levels than clinical stage Ⅰ+Ⅱ (P<0.05). The levels of TK1 is significantly associated with tumor stage, lymph node metastasis, distant metastasis, tumor differentiation and age (P<0.05). When the tumor markers (TK1, CA 19-9 and CA 72-4) were detected respectively, the area under receiver operating characteristics curve (AUC) of TK1 for three cancers was the highest (0.823-0.895). However, the combination of AUC was higher than that for each tumor marker detected respectively (0.934-0.953), and the Hosmer-Lemeshow test showed an adequate model of calibration (P>0.05). Moreover, the AUCs varied significantly between the combination tests and single biomarker tests (Z test, P<0.01). In conclusion, serum TK1 may be an independent tumor marker for GC and CRC patients, and the combination of TK1, CA 19-9 and CA 72-4 and CEA performed even better. This study suggests that combination detection of four tumor markers may prove to be useful for the diagnosis of GC and CRC.
Keywords: gastric cancer, colorectal cancer, TK1, CA 19-9, CA 72-4, CEA.