Evaluation of serum lysyl oxidase as a blood test for colorectal cancer

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AIMS: Lysyl oxidase (LOX) expression is elevated in colorectal cancer (CRC) tissue and associated with disease progression. A blood test may form a more acceptable diagnostic test for CRC although LOX has not previously been measured in the serum. We therefore sought to determine the clinical usefulness of a serum LOX test for CRC in a symptomatic population.

METHODS: Adult patients referred to a hospital colorectal clinic with bowel symptoms completed a questionnaire and provided a blood sample for serum LOX measurement. Associations between presenting symptoms, serum LOX concentrations and outcomes of investigations were tested by univariate and multivariate analyses to determine if serum LOX was clinically useful in the prediction of CRC. LOX expression in CRC and adjacent colon biopsies was evaluated by ELISA and immunohistochemistry.

RESULTS: Thirty-one cases of colorectal cancer and 16 high-risk polyps were identified from a total of 962 participants. There was no association between serum LOX concentration and the presence of CRC, high-risk polyps or cancers at any site. LOX expression was significantly increased in CRC tissue compared to adjacent colon.

CONCLUSION: Despite overexpression of LOX in CRC tissue, elevated serum levels could not be demonstrated. Serum LOX measurement is therefore not a clinically useful test for CRC.

Bibliographic note

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-8
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number6
Early online date6 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014


  • Adult, Aged, Colorectal Neoplasms, Disease Progression, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Female, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Male, Middle Aged, Protein-Lysine 6-Oxidase, Questionnaires

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