Background: Overexpression of transforming growth factor beta s (TGF-beta s), multifunctional polypeptides, have been reported in the tissue of various types of carcinomas, including gastric carcinoma. To our knowledge, serum levels of TGF-beta 1 have not previously been examined in patients with gastric carcinoma as a possible indicator of prognosis.
Methods: Preoperative serum levels of TGF-beta 1 were measured in 111 patients with gastric carcinoma by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Results: An elevated level of TGF-beta 1 was significantly correlated with lymph node metastasis and poor prognosis. Moreover, the preoperative serum levels of TGF-beta 1 in patients with peritoneal recurrence were significantly higher than those in patients both with lymph node recurrence and without recurrence.
Conclusion: The serum level of TGF-beta 1 might be useful for predicting recurrence patterns and prognosis in patients with gastric carcinoma.