Cathepsin X in serum from patients with colorectal cancer: Relation to prognosis

  • Tjaša Vižin Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana
  • Ib Jarle Christensen The Finsen Laboratory
  • Hans Jorgen Nielsen Department of Surgical Gastroenterology, Hvidovre Hospital, Hvidovre
  • Janko Kos Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana


Background. Up-regulation of lysosomal cysteine protease cathepsin X (Cat X) was associated with disorders of the immune system and neurodegenerative diseases, while its role in the development and progression of cancer is less understood. Enhanced secretion of pro-Cat X was observed in malignant processes, and therefore, the level of total serum Cat X rather than the active enzyme may better reflect the tumour status.

Patients and methods. Seventy-seven patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) were included in a retrospective study. Blood samples were collected prior to therapy. Using ELISA, the values of total Cat X were measured in serum. Groups of healthy persons (n=77), patients with adenomas (n=77) and patients with non-neoplastic findings (n=77) were included.

Results. Significant differences between the group of colorectal patients and the groups of healthy persons, adenoma patients and patients with non-malignant findings could not be shown (p=0.89). Within the group of CRC, higher levels of total Cat X significantly correlated to shorter overall survival (HR=2.08, 95% CI:1.07-4.05,p=0.028).

Conclusions. Total serum Cat X could be a useful prognostic indicator for determining survival of patients with CRC. Increased serum levels of total Cat X may reflect more aggressive tumour cell phenotypes and suggest the involvement of Cat X in processes involved in later stages of tumour progression.

How to Cite
Vižin, T., Christensen, I. J., Nielsen, H. J., & Kos, J. (2012). Cathepsin X in serum from patients with colorectal cancer: Relation to prognosis. Radiology and Oncology, 46(3). Retrieved from
Experimental oncology