Galectin-3 as a potential biomarker in colorectal cancer?
Background: Colorectal cancer incidence is inclining in the past decades, and diagnosis relies mainly on colonoscopic screening. Galectin-3 is recently shown to be associated with colorectal cancer. This study aimed to correlate serum galectin-3 levels with pathologically proven colorectal cancer.
Methods: All adult patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer in our institution from January to March 2013 were included in this prospective, observational study. During the same period, a control group with normal colonoscopic findings were included. After inclusion into the study, blood samples were collected from all participants. Serums obtained from the samples were stored at − 20 °C. Galectin-3 levels in blood samples were measured with an in vitro cantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
Results: Mean age was 62.7 years (range 29–85; standard deviation (SD): 14.8), mean body mass index (BMI) was 26.4 (21.4–42.4; SD: 4.5). Obesity (BMI ≤ 30), advanced age (≥55 years), and male gender were not significantly different among study groups (p > 0.05). In the colorectal cancer group mean galectin-3 levels were significantly elevated as compared to their control group counterparts (125.2 ± 19.1 vs. 23.0 ± 10.2, p < 0.001).
Conclusions: Galectin-3 levels were found significantly increased in colorectal cancer patients when compared with healthy controls. Further research is warranted to investigate the prognostic potential of galectin-3 in colorectal cancer.