Assessing the clinical utility of measuring Insulin-like Growth Factor Binding Proteins in tissues and sera of melanoma patients

Jessie Z. Yu, Melanie A. Warycha, Paul J. Christos, Farbod Darvishian, Herman Yee, Hideko Kaminio, Russell S. Berman, Richard L. Shapiro, Michael T. Buckley, Leonard F. Liebes, Anna C. Pavlick, David Polsky, Peter C. Brooks, Iman Osman

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9 Scopus citations


Background: Different Insulin-like Growth Factor Binding Proteins (IGFBPs) have been investigated as potential biomarkers in several types of tumors. In this study, we examined both IGFBP-3 and -4 levels in tissues and sera of melanoma patients representing different stages of melanoma progression. Methods: The study cohort consisted of 132 melanoma patients (primary, n = 72; metastatic, n = 60; 64 Male, 68 Female; Median Age = 56) prospectively enrolled in the New York University School of Medicine Interdisciplinary Melanoma Cooperative Group (NYU IMCG) between August 2002 and December 2006. We assessed tumor-expression and circulating sera levels of IGFBP-3 and -4 using immunohistochemistry and ELISA assays. Correlations with clinicopathologic parameters were examined using Wilcoxon rank-sum tests and Spearman-rank correlation coefficients. Results: Median IGFBP-4 tumor expression was significantly greater in primary versus metastatic patients (70% versus 10%, p = 0.01) A trend for greater median IGFBP-3 sera concentration was observed in metastatic versus primary patients (4.9 μg/ml vs. 3.4 μg/ml, respectively, p = 0.09). However, sera levels fell within a normal range for IGFBP-3. Neither IGFBP-3 nor -4 correlated with survival in this subset of patients. Conclusion: Decreased IGFBP-4 tumor expression might be a step in the progression from primary to metastatic melanoma. Our data lend support to a recently-described novel tumor suppressor role of secreting IGFBPs in melanoma. However, data do not support the clinical utility of measuring levels of IGFBP-3 and -4 in sera of melanoma patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number70
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
StatePublished - 24 Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


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