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Procalcitonin beyond the acute phase: novel biomediator properties?

Carolina Panico and Eric Nylen*

Author Affiliations

Department Endocrinology, VAMC, and George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC, USA

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BMC Medicine 2013, 11:189  doi:10.1186/1741-7015-11-189

Published: 28 August 2013


Since inflammation has been linked to carcinogenic events, discovery of relevant biomarkers may have important preventative implications. Procalcitonin (ProCT) has been shown to be an important prognostic biomarker in severe inflammatory conditions, but there is no data regarding its biomarker role, if any, beyond the acute phase. In a recent study published in BMC Medicine, Cotoi et al. analyzed whether serum ProCT levels in healthy individuals are associated with mortality outcomes. The results are affirmative in that baseline ProCT was shown to be strongly and independently associated with all-cause and cancer mortality and with the incidence of colon cancer in men. By contrast, the study indicated that high sensitivity C-reactive protein was independently associated with cardiovascular mortality but not with cancer mortality in men. Thus, baseline levels of ProCT appear to have prognostic biomarker implications potentially related to its emerging biomediator action(s).

Biomarker; Carcinogenesis; Mortality; Procalcitonin