The value of serum survivin level in early diagnosis of cancer

J Cancer Res Ther. Apr-Jun 2018;14(3):570-573. doi: 10.4103/0973-1482.171369.


Objective: Survivin is one of the apoptosis inhibitor proteins, and it plays a key role in tumor angiogenesis and cancer progression. This study was conducted to investigate the serum level of survivin to determine its diagnostic value in cancer patients.

Materials and methods: Blood samples were taken from cancer patients (n = 67) prior to surgery or chemo/radiotherapy and age-matched healthy volunteers (n = 23). The serum levels of survivin were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The difference in serum levels between patients and control was evaluated by using statistical methods. Correlation between the serum levels of survivin and clinicopathological features of cancer patients were also evaluated.

Results: The diagnoses of patients were breast cancer (49.3%), colon cancer (25.4%), ovarian cancer (14.9%), and other cancers (10.4%). Serum survivin levels were significantly higher in cancer patients than healthy subjects (196.23 pg/ml vs. 117.73 pg/ml, respectively, P = 0.019). No significant relations were found between serum survivin level and demographic characteristics of cancer. The optimal cut-off value of serum survivin was determined at >120.8 pg/ml, and its serum levels above this cut-off value were associated with 4.198 times increased risk of cancer.

Conclusion: Our study results may suggest that high serum survivin levels can show 4 times increased risk of cancer in a subject with a high suspicion of cancer. Furthermore, survivin level was not influenced with demographic characteristics of breast, gastric, colorectal, prostate, ovarian cancer, and glioblastome multiforme.

Keywords: Cancer; diagnostic marker; malignancy; prognosis; risk indicator; survivin.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Early Detection of Cancer*
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / blood*
  • Neoplasms / classification
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / blood
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / pathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Survivin


  • BIRC5 protein, human
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins
  • Survivin