Concentrations of neopterin, a sensitive indicator for the activation of cellular immunity, were measured in urine samples of 44 patients with adenocarcinoma of the colon at diagnosis. To judge the relative predictive value of neopterin concentrations, other routine clinical and laboratory variables were concomitantly determined. The patients were then followed up to 10 yr, and the abilities of all variables to predict death from cancer were assessed. Neopterin concentrations were not correlated with either tumor stage or Dukes' stage. In univariate analyses using the product-limit approach, four variables were significant indicators of poor prognosis: presence of distant metastases (P = 0.0001); high Dukes' stage (P = 0.0009); high urinary neopterin concentration (P = 0.0034); and advanced stage (P = 0.030). Presence versus absence of lymph node metastases was not associated with prognosis. Multivariate survival analyses by the proportional hazards technique demonstrated that neopterin provided statistically independent predictive information in addition to either presence versus absence of distant metastases or Dukes' stage. When neopterin and tumor stage were investigated for joint prediction, stage failed to be included in the model. Thus, neopterin concentrations provide valuable and statistically independent prognostic information in patients with adenocarcinoma of the colon.

The costs of publication of this article were defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. This article must therefore be hereby marked advertisement in accordance with 18 U.S.C. Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.

This content is only available via PDF.