Urinary neopterin in patients with advanced colorectal carcinoma

Int J Biol Markers. 2006 Jul-Sep;21(3):190-8. doi: 10.1177/172460080602100309.


In previous studies, mostly in patients with early stage colorectal carcinoma, neopterin, an indicator of systemic immune activation, has been associated with poor prognosis. The aim of the present study was to evaluate urinary neopterin in patients with advanced or metastatic colorectal carcinoma treated with chemotherapy. A retrospective analysis was performed of urinary neopterin, determined by high-performance liquid chromatography, in 88 patients with advanced or metastatic colorectal carcinoma. Peripheral blood cell count and serum carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) were determined in 72 patients before the start of chemotherapy. Urinary neopterin in colorectal carcinoma patients was significantly increased compared to controls, but lower than in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Neopterin correlated significantly with serum CEA, age, peripheral blood leukocyte and platelet counts. The median survival of colorectal carcinoma patients with urinary neopterin below 214 micromol/mol creatinine was significantly longer compared to that of patients with higher neopterin concentrations (median 18 vs 5 months, log-rank test p=0.003). CEA and hemoglobin were also associated with survival in univariate analysis, but in multivariate analysis only urinary neopterin and serum CEA were independent predictors of survival. High urinary neopterin during follow-up was also predictive of poor prognosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / urine*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / secondary
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / urine*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neopterin / urine*
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Neopterin