Significance of glutathione S-transferase-pi as a tumor marker in patients with oral cancer

Cancer. 1992 Nov 15;70(10):2381-7. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19921115)70:10<2381::aid-cncr2820701002>;2-9.


Background: The authors analyzed the clinical usefulness of glutathione-S-transferase-pi (GST-pi) as a tumor marker in patients with oral cancer.

Methods: GST-pi levels in plasma of 61 patients with oral squamous cell carcinomas, 65 patients with benign oral diseases, and 78 healthy subjects were investigated with the sandwich enzyme-immunoassay (EIA) system.

Results: Elevated GST-pi levels in plasma were observed in patients with oral cancer, but patients with benign oral diseases had normal GST-pi levels. More than 70% of patients with Stage III or IV oral cancer and more than 50% of those with Stage I and II disease had elevated levels of GST-pi in plasma. Elevated levels of GST-pi in plasma were also discovered in most patients with tumor recurring after surgery before recurrence was detected clinically. GST-pi also was found to be a useful marker for evaluating the response to chemotherapy, for monitoring postoperative tumor resectability or tumor burden, and for predicting the recurrence of tumor in patients with oral cancer.

Conclusions: GST-pi is considered to be a useful aid for early diagnosis, predicting tumor extent, and determining parameters of treatment efficacy and prognosis for oral cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm / blood
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / therapy
  • Clinical Enzyme Tests*
  • Glutathione Transferase / blood*
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Mouth Diseases / enzymology
  • Mouth Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / therapy
  • Serologic Tests
  • Serpins*


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Serpins
  • squamous cell carcinoma-related antigen
  • Glutathione Transferase