Decreased Activity of Circulating Butyrylcholinesterase in Blood Is an Independent Prognostic Marker in Pancreatic Cancer Patients

Cancers (Basel). 2020 May 4;12(5):1154. doi: 10.3390/cancers12051154.


Introduction: The activity of butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) in blood reflects liver function and has recently been associated with systemic inflammatory response and tumor cachexia. As these conditions have been previously linked with pancreatic cancer (PC), the purpose of the present study was to evaluate the prognostic impact of plasma BChE in PC. Methods: Data from 574 consecutive PC patients, treated between 2004 and 2018 at a single academic center, was evaluated. The primary endpoint was cancer-specific survival (CSS), analyzed by Kaplan-Meier curve, and both univariate and multivariate Cox proportional models. Results: BChE activity negatively correlated with other liver parameters (bilirubin, gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and C-reactive protein (CRP)), and positively correlated with albumin levels, respectively (p < 0.01). In univariate analysis, a low plasma BChE activity was a factor of poor CSS (hazard ratio: 1.4, 95% confidence interval: 1.129-1.754, p = 0.002). In multivariate analysis, tumor stage, tumor grade, administration of chemotherapy, bilirubin levels and a low BChE activity (hazard ratio: 1.42, 95% confidence interval: 1.10-1.82; p = 0.006) were identified as independent prognostic factors. Conclusion: Decreased activity of BChE in blood plasma predicts shorter survival time in PC patients. Therefore, BChE might be helpful in additional stratification of patients into different prognostic risk groups.

Keywords: butyrylcholinesterase; pancreatic cancer; prognostic factor.