Performance of serum lipocalin 2 as a diagnostic marker for colorectal cancer

Kim Y C Fung, Ilka Priebe, Leanne Purins, Bruce Tabor, Gemma V Brierley, Trevor Lockett, Edouard Nice, Peter Gibbs, Jeannie Tie, Paul McMurrick, James Moore, Andrew Ruszkiewicz, Antony Burgess, Leah J Cosgrove

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14 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Lipocalin 2 has been implicated in colorectal tumorigenesis but its usefulness as a diagnostic marker for the disease has previously never been determined. METHODS: We have used ELISA immunoassay to measure the level of serum lipocalin 2 in a cohort consisting of colorectal cancer patients (n=196) and age/gender matched controls (n=99). RESULTS: The median concentration of lipocalin 2 was found to be significantly higher (p< 0.0001) in the patient group (105.9 ng/mL, range 10.8-444.7 ng/mL) when compared to the control subjects (86.4 ng/mL, range 17.1-190.0 ng/mL). Additionally, no significant difference was observed between disease stage (Dukes' or T stage) in the patient cohort. Receiver operating characteristic analysis was performed to determine its performance as a diagnostic marker. The area under the curve was found to be 0.641 (95% confidence interval 0.576-0.706). Furthermore, the sensitivity of lipocalin 2 was found to be 24% at 90% specificity. CONCLUSIONS: Our study indicates that lipocalin 2 is not a suitable serum biomarker for the diagnosis of CRC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-79
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Biomarkers
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • biomarker
  • blood
  • Colorectal cancer
  • diagnosis
  • lipocalin 2

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