Increased collagenase activity in macrophages from bronchial lavage as a diagnostic marker of non-small cell lung cancer

Hakoda, Y.; Ito, Y.; Nagate, A.; Minemura, K.; Utsumi, K.; Aoshima, M.; Ohyashiki, K.
February 2003
Thorax;Feb2003, Vol. 58 Issue 2, p122
Academic Journal
Background: The roles of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in cancer metastasis have been studied. Macrophages are considered to release MMPs in the tissues of patients with lung cancer. Methods: Intracellular collagenase activity was measured in CD 14+ CD45+ cells from bronchial lay- age fluid to establish a new diagnostic tool for lung cancer. Between August 2000 and November 2001 bronchoscopy and bronchial lavage were performed in 45 patients with abnormal shadows on the chest radiograph; 21 had lung cancer and 24 had non-malignant disease. Results: Collagenase activity in patients with primary lung cancer (5.54 (0.65)) or non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) (5.62 (0.71)) was significantly higher than in those with non-malignant disease (3.63 (0.78), p=0.006 and p=0.008, respectively). Only three of 18 patients in the low activity group were diagnosed as having cancer compared with 18 of 27 in the high activity group (p=0.001). This significance was not seen in non-smokers but it was apparent in smokers/ex-smokers. Excluding non-smokers improved the specificity of collagenase activity in differentiating cancer and non-malignant disease from 62.5% to 80.0%. The sensitivity of the test was 85.7% in all patients and 88.2% in smokers/ex-smokers. Conclusions: Measurement of intracellular collagenase activity in macrophages in bronchial lavage fluid is a useful diagnostic tool for distinguishing between cancer and non-malignant diseases, especially in smokers and ex-smokers.


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