Serum AGR2 as an early diagnostic and postoperative prognostic biomarker of human lung adenocarcinoma

Cancer Biomarkers, 03/23/2012

Chung K et al. – Preoperative serum AGR2 might become a clinically useful biomarker for early detection, prediction of recurrence and prognosis with lung adenocarcinomas.


  • AGR2 protein levels were preoperatively measured in the serum of 111 primary lung adenocarcinoma patients and in 46 non-cancer controls with subsequent calculation of sensitivity and specificity in comparison with serum CEA levels.
  • Correlations with clinicopathological variables were also assessed and survival analyses were performed according to the Kaplan-Meier method and differences determined with the log-rank test.


  • The mean serum AGR2 level of lung adenocarcinoma patients in each stage, even Stage I, was significantly higher than in non-cancer controls (P < 0.001 for all stages, Mann-Whitney U test).
  • The sensitivity was 65.8% (52.9% for stage IA), even higher than that of CEA, which was 45.0% (29.4% for stage IA), and the specificity was 87.0% according to the ROC curve (AUC=0.858).
  • Positive serum AGR2 expression was significantly associated with the incidence of recurrence after surgery (P=0.025) and with a poor prognosis (P=0.037 for overall survival and P=0.004 for disease-free survival).

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