Specific increase in serum autotaxin activity in patients with pancreatic cancer

Clin Biochem. 2011 Jun;44(8-9):576-81. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2011.03.128. Epub 2011 Mar 31.


Objectives: To evaluate the potential clinical significance of serum autotaxin (ATX) level in patients with cancers of the digestive system.

Design and methods: Serum ATX activity was measured as the lysophospholipase D activity in patients with cancer of the esophagus (n=8), stomach (n=18), colorectum (n=21), biliary tract (n=19), or pancreas (n=103) and in patients with benign pancreatic diseases (n=73).

Results: Among patients with various cancers of digestive system, increased serum ATX activity was predominantly observed among pancreatic cancer patients. Serum ATX activity was not increased in patients with chronic pancreatitis or pancreatic cysts. In the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, the area under the receiver operating curve for serum ATX activity was 0.541 (95% CI, 0.435-0.648) for men and 0.772 (95% CI, 0.659-0.885) for women. No significant correlation was observed between serum ATX activity and CEA, CA19-9 or Dupan2 levels.

Conclusion: Serum ATX activity may be useful for identifying pancreatic cancer when used together with other serum markers of pancreatic cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen / blood
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Lysophospholipids / blood
  • Lysophospholipids / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multienzyme Complexes / blood*
  • Multienzyme Complexes / metabolism
  • Pancreatic Cyst / blood
  • Pancreatic Cyst / metabolism
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / blood*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / blood
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / metabolism
  • Phosphodiesterase I / blood*
  • Phosphodiesterase I / metabolism
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases
  • Pyrophosphatases / blood*
  • Pyrophosphatases / metabolism


  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen
  • Lysophospholipids
  • Multienzyme Complexes
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases
  • Phosphodiesterase I
  • alkylglycerophosphoethanolamine phosphodiesterase
  • Pyrophosphatases