Background: A number of biomarkers have been proven potentially useful for their ability to indicate bone metastases (BM) in cancer patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the relative utility of a newly developed N-terminal propeptide of collagen type I (PINP) human serum assay for the detection of BM in cancer patients. This assay has a corresponding rat PINP assay which in the future might help in translational science between rodent and human trials.
Methods: Participants were 161 prostate, lung and breast cancer patients stratified by number of BM (Soloway score). PINP was assessed and correlated to number of BM. Additionally, the PINP marker was correlated to bone resorption of young (ALPHA CTX-I)- and aged bone (BETA CTX-I); number of osteoclasts (Tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase 5b, TRACP5B) and osteoclast activity (CTX-I/TRACP5B).
Results: PINP was significantly elevated in breast- and prostate cancer patients +BM, compared to -BM (P < 0.001), however not in lung cancer patients. A strong linear association was seen between PINP and the number of BMs. Significant elevation of PINP was observed at Soloway scores 1–4 (<0 BM) compared with score 0 (0 BM) (P < 0.001). The correlation between bone resorption of young bone or aged bone and bone formation was highly significant in patients +BM and -BM (P < 0.0001).
Conclusions: Data suggest that the present PINP potentially could determine skeletal involvement in patients with breast or prostate cancer. Correlations suggested that coupling between bone resorption and bone formation was maintained in breast- and prostate cancer patients.
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