Vol 63, No 6 (2012)
Original paper
Published online: 2013-01-02

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Selected neuroendocrine tumour markers, growth factors and their receptors in typical and atypical bronchopulmonary carcinoids

Aleksandra Telega, Beata Kos-Kudła, Wanda Foltyn, Jolanta Blicharz-Dorniak, Violetta Rosiek
Endokrynol Pol 2012;63(6):477-482.


Introduction: Bronchopulmonary neuroendocrine tumours (BP NET) cause many diagnostic and therapeutic problems. There is an ongoing search for biochemical markers of activity of these tumours. The use of polypeptide growth factors seems potentially feasible in establishing the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of these tumours.
Material and methods: We included 41 patients aged 25 to 78 years with histopathologically confirmed typical and atypical bronchopulmonary carcinoid tumours and 20 healthy volunteers. We assessed the levels of specific and non-specific markers of these tumours and of selected growth factors relative to TNM classification.
Results: The levels of specific markers (serotonin and its metabolite, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid [5HIAA]) and non-specific markers (chromogranin A [CgA]) were significantly higher in patients with atypical carcinoid tumours. The serum levels of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and VEGF receptor-1 (VEGFR-1) were significantly higher in patients with carcinoid tumours versus the control group. The levels of VEGFR-1 closely correlated with TNM classification. No such correlation could, however, be confirmed for the levels of HGF, VEGF or VEGFR-2.
Conclusions: Determination of CgA, serotonin and 5HIAA may be useful in the diagnosis of BP NET, particularly in atypical carcinoid tumours, and their levels depend on the presence of distant metastases. Determination of growth factors (VEGF and its receptor, VEGFR‑1, and HGF) may prove useful in the clinical diagnosis of these tumours, while the assessment of VEGFR‑1 expression may be helpful in tumour staging. (Endokrynol Pol 2012; 63 (6): 477–482)

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