It has been reported that serum insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 2 (IGFBP2) levels are elevated in various types of cancers. However, the clinicopathologic and prognostic implications of circulating IGFBP2 have never been investigated in gastric cancer. We tested IGFBP2 levels in the sera of 118 gastric cancer patients and 34 healthy controls using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The mean serum IGFBP2 level was significantly elevated in the gastric cancer patients compared to controls (805.23 ± 590.56 ng/ml vs. 459.61 ± 277.01 ng/ml; P < 0.001). Serum IGFBP2 levels were significantly higher in larger (> 6 cm) tumors (956.8 ± 734.0 ng/ml vs. 548.6 ± 364.0 ng/ml; P = 0.007) and in higher (T3/4) T stages (854.8 ± 621.4 ng/ml vs. 546.5 ± 315.1 ng/ml; P = 0.037). Multivariate Cox analysis showed that higher serum IGFBP2 level (> 400.01 ng/ml) was an independent prognostic factor predicting worse overall survival in patients with gastric cancer (hazard ratio (HR): 3.749, P = 0.034). When we divided patients into four groups based on blood IGFBP2 levels, survival was stratified. The HRs for death in the 3rd and 4th quartiles of serum IGFBP2 levels in comparison to that in the 1st quartile were 2.527 (P = 0.043) and 3.092 (P = 0.012). In conclusion, circulating IGFBP2 has potential as a biomarker predicting prognosis for gastric cancer patients.
Keywords: gastric cancer; insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 2; prognosis; tumor marker.