Aim:To correlate TGFβ1 level of gene expression and protein level in blood together and to the tumor type, size and grade in an attempt to evaluate their use as quick and reliable prognostic and diagnostic tools in solid tumors. And as an important step for targeting TGFβ1 for cancer therapy.
Methods: Blood samples have been obtained from 20 breast cancer (BC) patients and 20 colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. TGFβ1 protein levels were detected in serum after centrifugation by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA); and TGFβ1 gene expression was quantified in whole blood by real time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). There were 10 healthy subjects served as control.
Results: Serum TGF-β1 levels in patients with breast cancer (10.42 +/- 2.19 ng/mL) were significantly higher than in normal controls (1.81 +/- 0.22; n = 20) (P< 0.001) and Serum TGF-β1 levels in patients with CRC (13.9 +/- 2.9 ng/mL) were significantly higher than in normal controls (1.81 +/- 0.29; n = 20) (P< 0.001). TGF-β1 mRNA in breast cancer patients was significantly higher than in control; about 3 times more abundant in breast cancer patients and about 4 times in CRC patients (P< 0.001).
Serum TGF-β1 level and gene expression were significantly correlated with clinical tumor size. Serum gene expression levels were correlated with tumor stage and grade, while showing a significant association with distant metastasis (P= 0.006) in breast cancer patients while serum TGF-β1 level failed to show significant correlation. Neither serum TGF-β1 level nor gene expression level show significant association with CRC tumor stage, grade, lymph node involvement or distant metastasis.
Conclusion: Serum TGF-β1 level and gene expression are significantly correlated to solid tumor type and size. Blood TGF-β1 quantitative gene expression offers an easy, quick and reproducible tool validating serum TGF-β1 level reliability. TGF-β1 gene expression showed more significant correlation to tumor grade and metastasis in breast cancer patients.
Impact: This study introduce quick, reliable and reproducible prognostic and diagnostic tool for cancer patients coupling serum TGF-β1 level to quantitative gene expression in blood samples. Serum TGF-β1 level previously reported significance as a diagnostic, prognostic and even therapeutic decisive tool is confirmed showing significant correlation to solid tumor type and size. Blood TGF-β1 quantitative gene expression is offered as an easy, quick and reproducible tool ensuring serum TGF-β1 level reliability.