Associated multiplex biomarker detection for colorectal cancer based on Bio-Plex platform

Qi Chen, Kewen Tan, Ren Song, Pei Liu, Haiyan Xu


Background: Associated protein biomarkers are thought to be produced by the tumor or other tissues in response to the existence of cancers or associated conditions. Equally, known examples of cancer protein biomarker are used for the diagnosis of colorectal cancers (CRCs). However, these biomarkers suffer from low diagnostic specificity and sensitivity for CRC patients. Single biomarker detection is rarely useful for clinical applications due to the heterogeneity of cancer. Therefore, new sensitive and specific assays are urgently required for CRC diagnosis at an early stage.
Methods: In this study, a total of 58 newly diagnosed primary CRC patients in Dianjiang People’s Hospital of Chongqing were included, while 20 controls were also included. Approximately 2 mL of venous blood samples from 58 CRC patients and 20 controls were collected. Then we detected 16 angiogenic cytokines using the Bio-Plex technology to measure multiple cytokines.
Results: The results showed that serum levels of Follistatin, HGF, and Osteopontin were significantly higher in CRC patients, while Leptin and PECAM were significantly decreased. ROC curve analyses indicated that the up-regulated markers, including Follistatin, HGF, and Osteopontin, had diagnostic value for CRC. The down-regulated marker, PECAM, also presented diagnostic value for CRC. To maximize the ability to detect CRC, four biomarkers, as well as CEA, were combined and used for linear discriminant analysis. Using the regression equation, the sensitivity and specificity for CRC were calculated as 93.1% (54/58) and 60.0% (12/20).
Conclusions: The study demonstrates that the combined analysis of five cytokines (follistatin, HGF, leptin, PECAM and osteopontin) is more useful for CRC diagnosis than the analysis of any individual marker. The combined detection of these five biomarkers is a valuable method for the diagnosis of CRC.