Background: There is an insufficient number of reliable prognostic and response predictive biomarkers in colorectal cancer (CRC) management. In a previous study, we found that high tumour tissue expression of tumour-associated trypsin inhibitor (TATI) correlated with liver metastasis and an impaired prognosis in CRC. The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic validity of serum TATI (s-TATI) in CRC. We further assessed the prognostic value of carcino-embryonic antigen in serum (s-CEA) and the interrelationship between s-TATI and TATI in tissue (t-TATI). Methods: Using an immunofluorometric assay, s-TATI levels were analysed in 334 preoperatively collected serum samples from patients with CRC. Spearman's Rho and Chi-square test were used for analysis of correlations between s-TATI and clinicopathological parameters, s-CEA and t-TATI. Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox uni-and multivariate regression analysis were used to estimate disease free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) according to quartiles of s-TATI and cut-offs derived from ROC-analysis of s-TATI and s-CEA. Results: Increased levels of s-TATI were associated with a reduced DFS (HR = 2.00; 95% CI 1.40-2.84, P < 0.001) and OS (HR = 2.40; 95% CI 1.74-3.33, P < 0.001). (HR = 2.89; 95% CI 1.96-4.25). This association remained significant in multivariate analysis. The association for OS remained significant in multivariate analysis (HR = 1.51; 95% CI 1.032.22, P = 0.034 for DFS and HR = 1.78; 95% CI 1.25-2.53, P = 0.001 for OS). There was no significant association between s-TATI and t-TATI. The prognostic value of s-CEA was also evident, but somewhat weaker than for s-TATI. Conclusions: High preoperative s-TATI levels predict a poor prognosis in patients with CRC, and the prognostic value is independent of established prognostic parameters and t-TATI expression. These data suggest that s-TATI might be a useful marker for prognostic stratification in CRC.
2010. Vol. 10, 498- p.