Protein levels in Cancer Patients

Updated at: Sep 25, 2012
Protein levels in Cancer Patients

Correlation between protein levels and a cancer patient's survival rate.

Bhadra Kamalasanan
CancerWritten by: Bhadra KamalasananPublished at: Sep 25, 2012

Protein levels in Cancer Patients

Elevated levels of certain kinds of protein are directly linked to survival rates and cancer behaviour. For instance, certain types of proteins, such as C-peptide also have a relationship with an enhanced level of digestive hormone insulin, which can possibly stimulate the growth of cancerous cells.

CPE-Delta N Protein


This protein is a variant of an enzyme names carboxypeptidase E. or CPE. Usually, the body uses CPE to process the use of communication by the protein nerve cells and to regulate the production of hormones. Cancer patients, who have an elevated level of CPE-delta N, are more likely to experience a metastasis. A study conducted in 2011 by researchers from the University of Honk Kong had found high levels of CPE-delta N in breast, colon and liver cancer patients had lead to metastasis or spread of the disease to other parts of the body. The results of the study were published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.


C - reactive Protein

C-reactive protein is an acute phase inflammatory protein that is produced by the liver. The protein is produced when there is a tissue damage, infection or inflammation. According to researchers from the Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark, breast cancer patients, who had soaring levels of C-reactive protein in their body, were highly likely to not survive. The researchers examined over 2,910 breast cancer patients over 7 years and found that the ones with an elevated level of C-reactive protein at the time of diagnosis showed an increased of death. The results of the study were published in Breast Cancer Research. [Read: Breast Cancer Symptoms]


Other Proteins

Obese cancer patients, who have elevated levels of insulin-related protein C-peptide, affected their survival rate after they had had surgery to remove colorectal cancerous tumours. Obesity stimulates the circulation of blood levels of the hormone insulin. A research from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute done in 2009 recruited 373 patients, who had colorectal cancer, which had not spread and had gone through surgical removal of the tumour. The research found that patients, who had the highest levels of C-peptide, were closely linked with the highest levels of mortality.


[Read: What is Colorectal Cancer?]


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