Serum levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1, CD54) in patients with non-small cell lung cancer: Correlation with histological expression of ICAM-1 and tumour stage

A. Grothey, P. Heistermann, S. Philippou, R. Voigtmann

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The expression of the intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1, CD54) seems to have an influence on the metastatic behaviour of tumour cells via immunological mechanisms. Recently, a soluble form of ICAM-1 was identified in physiological fluids. We analysed the serum levels of sICAM-1 in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and healthy individuals using a sandwich ELISA technique. Sera from 51 patients with NSCLC were tested for sICAM-1 (46 male, five female; age 38-81 years, median 64 years), 29 of whom presented with localized and 26 with metastatic disease. The control group consisted of 40 healthy individuals (20 smokers, 20 non-smokers). Immunohistochemical analysis of ICAM-1 in tumour cells was performed in 20 cases. Patients with NSCLC had significantly higher serum levels of sICAM-1 compared with healthy non-smokers (P = 0.00001) and smokers (P = 0.0328). Metastatic disease was associated with higher sICAM-1 than localized tumours (P = 0.0013). Only 11 out of 23 patients with localized NSCLC had sICAM-1 levels > 300 ng ml-1, compared with 25 out of 28 patients with metastatic disease. Histological expression of ICAM-1 was positively correlated with serum sICAM-1 (P = 0.0399). No difference was observed between histological tumour types with regard to sICAM-1 or NSCLC expression of ICAM-1. In sequential analysis (13 patients), rising sICAM-1 levels predicted a short-term fatal outcome (P = 0.0054) but, overall, sICAM-1 levels did not correlate with prognosis. In the control group, smokers showed significantly higher levels than non-smokers (P = 0.0016). In contrast to patients with NSCLC, sICAM-1 in the control group was correlated to the leucocyte count (r = 0.580, P = 0.003). In conclusion, serum levels of sICAM-1 seem to be associated with tumour burden and histological expression of ICAM-1 in patients with NSCLC. However, the (patho-) physiological role of ICAM-1 in NSCLC remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)801-807
Number of pages7
JournalBritish journal of cancer
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998



  • ICAM-1
  • Lung cancer
  • Smoking
  • Soluble ICAM-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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