CC chemokine ligand 18 and IGF-binding protein 6 as potential serum biomarkers for prostate cancer

Tohoku J Exp Med. 2014 May;233(1):25-31. doi: 10.1620/tjem.233.25.


Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in men globally. However, there are few sensitive biomarkers for PCa, especially those which can distinguish PCa and benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). Antibody microarrays allow for high-throughput and high-sensitivity detection of multiple proteins simultaneously, providing a powerful tool for biomarker screening. Here, we selected 46 patients with PCa and 42 controls with BPH, and compared the serum levels of different cytokines in PCa and BPH patients using antibody microarrays. The results indicated that serum levels of macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) and CC chemokine ligand 18 (CCL-18) were remarkably higher in PCa patients than those in BPH patients, while serum levels of insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 6 (IGFBP-6) and Fas receptor (Fas), also called tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 6 (TNFRSF6), were significantly lower. M-CSF and Fas/TNFRSF6 have been reported to be associated with PCa pathogenesis, and thus were used as positive controls in the present study. CCL-18 is a chemokine primarily involved in recruitment of the adaptive immune system, while IGFBP-6 has been reported to inhibit proliferation of PCa cells. Serum levels of these four cytokines could distinguish PCa from BPH with high sensitivity and high specificity. Furthermore, the area under the ROC curve (AUC) was above 0.925 and 0.835 for CCL-18 and IGFBP-6, respectively, implying their high diagnostic value. In conclusion, we have identified CCL-18 and IGFBP-6 as new potential serum biomarkers for PCa.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Chemokines, CC / blood*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 6 / blood*
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood*
  • ROC Curve
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • fas Receptor / blood


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CCL18 protein, human
  • Chemokines, CC
  • FAS protein, human
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 6
  • fas Receptor
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor