The Hormone Ghrelin: Potential Prognostic Predictor in Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer?
Posted: Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Research has shown that the hormone ghrelin, known to regulate appetite and growth, may also regulate processes related to cancer. In a recent article published in Translational Andrology and Urology, researchers examined the impact of ghrelin levels on survival rates in patients treated with chemotherapy for muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Takuya Koie, MD, PhD, of Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine, Gifu, Japan, and colleagues found that ghrelin appeared to be significantly associated with progression-free survival in this patient population.
Clinical records for a total of 56 patients diagnosed with muscle-invasive bladder cancer were examined. Blood samples were collected from 27 patients before chemotherapy and after two completed cycles of chemotherapy. Serum acyl ghrelin and des-acyl ghrelin were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits, and statistical analyses were performed to assess the association between ghrelin levels and survival rates.
Overall findings revealed 3-year overall survival and progression-free survival rates of 82.9% and 68.3%, respectively. After chemotherapy, the 3-year progression-free survival rates were 77.5% in patients with acyl ghrelin levels of at least 1.34 pg/mL and 53% in those with levels less than 1.34 pg/mL (P = .038). They also found that the 3-year progression-free survival rate was 90.9% in patients with desacyl ghrelin levels less than 92.3 pg/mL and 43.3% in patients with levels of at least 92.3 pg/mL (P = .039).
According to Dr. Koie and colleagues, multivariate analyses revealed that serum acyl ghrelin levels were significantly associated with progression-free survival, suggesting it could be a useful prognostic predictor in patients with muscular-invasive bladder cancer. Future work will need to uncover the exact molecular mechanisms by which acyl ghrelin and des-acyl ghrelin modulate muscle-invasive bladder cancer.
Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.