Growth differentiation factor 15: a prognostic marker for recurrence in colorectal cancer

U. Wallin, B. Glimelius, Karin Jirström, S. Darmanis, R. Y. Nong, F. Ponten, C. Johansson, L. Pahlman, H. Birgisson

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75 Citations (SciVal)


BACKGROUND: Growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) belongs to the transforming growth factor beta superfamily and has been associated with activation of the p53 pathway in human cancer. The aim of this study was to assess the prognostic value of GDF15 in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). METHODS: Immunohistochemistry and tissue microarrays were used to analyse GDF15 protein expression in 320 patients with CRC. In a subgroup of 60 patients, the level of GDF15 protein in plasma was also measured using a solid-phase proximity ligation assay. RESULTS: Patients with CRC with moderate to high intensity of GDF15 immunostaining had a higher recurrence rate compared with patients with no or low intensity in all stages (stages I-III) (HR, 3.9; 95% CI, 1.16-13.15) and in stage III (HR, 10.32; 95% CI, 1.15-92.51). Patients with high plasma levels of GDF15 had statistically shorter time to recurrence (P = 0.041) and reduced overall survival (P = 0.002). CONCLUSION: Growth differentiation factor 15 serves as a negative prognostic marker in CRC. High expression of GDF15 in tumour tissue and high plasma levels correlate with an increased risk of recurrence and reduced overall survival. British Journal of Cancer (2011) 104, 1619-1627. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2011.112 Published online 5 April 2011 (C) 2011 Cancer Research UK
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1619-1627
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Pathology (Malmö) (013031000), Pathology, (Lund) (013030000)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cancer and Oncology


  • GDF15
  • colorectal cancer
  • prognostic markers
  • MIC-1


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