High plasma levels of pro-NT are associated with increased colon cancer risk

Li Li, Heidi L. Weiss, Jing Li, Zhengyi Chen, Leslie Donato, B. Mark Evers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Emerging data supports a potential role of neurotensin (NT) in the development of obesity, obesity-associated comorbidities, and certain cancers. The association of NT with colon cancer risk has not been explicitly explored. We det ermined plasma levels of pro-NT, a stable NT precursor fragment, in 223 incident colo n cancer patients and 223 age-, gender-, BMI-matched population controls participating in a population-based case-control study of colon cancer. On average, the cases have significantly higher levels of pro-NT than the controls (median = 205.6 pmol/L vs 183.1 pmol/L, respectively; P = 0.02). Multivariate logistic regression models, adjusted for age, gender, BMI, family history of colorectal cancer, smoking, diabetes mellitus, alcohol, and non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs use, show statistically significant risk associations: for continuous measure of pro-NT, the OR estimate was 1.30 (95% CI =1.03-1.64; P = 0.026) for each increment of 175 pmol/L; for dichotomized measure of pro-NT, the OR estimate was 1.75 (95% CI = 1.12-2.74; P = 0.025) for those in the top quartile comparing to the other participants. Our results support circulating levels of pro-NT as a novel risk biomarker for colon cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-646
Number of pages6
JournalEndocrine-Related Cancer
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Society for Endocrinology.


  • Biomarker
  • Intestinal hormone
  • Kentucky colon cancer genetic epidemiology study
  • Obesity
  • Pro-NT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Oncology
  • Endocrinology
  • Cancer Research


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