Background: Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) has been shown to act as a chemokine in the recruitment of monocyte/macrophages during inflammation states. It acts as an important factor in the cytokine network, which regulates tumor proliferation, whereas the association between serum MCP-1 level and gastric cancer has not yet been clarified.
Methods: The serum concentration of MCP-1 in 76 gastric cancer patients and in 45 normal controls was determined using an immunoradiometric assay. The concentration of MCP-1 in the 47 cancer tissue samples was also determined.
Results: The serum concentration of MCP-1 in patients with advanced carcinoma was significantly lower than that in controls. The serum concentration of MCP-1 in patients with advanced carcinoma was significantly lower than that in patients with early carcinoma. The serum concentration of MCP-1 was associated with clinicopathological factors including lymph node metastasis, serosal invasion and histological differentiation of the tumor. In patients who underwent palliative surgery, the serum MCP-1 level significantly decreased postoperatively, whereas in patients who underwent curative surgery the serum MCP-1 level tended to increase. The 4-year survival rate in patients whose serum MCP-1 levels were lower than or equal to the median value was significantly lower than that in patients whose MCP-1 levels were higher than the median value. The tissue concentration of MCP-1 in the cancer tended to decrease in accordance with disease progression.
Conclusions: The serum level of MCP-1 decreased in accord with disease progression, which reflects local consumption in gastric cancer. Serum MCP-1 may be a useful marker that reflects the host's local resistance to the tumor.