Elevated Serum Creatine Kinase BB Levels in Patients with Small Cell Lung Cancer

D. N. Carney, M. H. Zweig, D. C. Ihde, M. H. Cohen, R. W. Makuch, A. F. Gazdar

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76 Scopus citations


Clinical tumor specimens and cultures of small cell lung cancer (SCLC) produce 10- to 100-fold higher quantities of the BB isoenzyme of creatine kinase (CK-BB) (EC than did other types of lung cancer. Serum CK-BB levels were evaluated in 105 newly diagnosed, previously untreated patients with SCLC. All patients were thoroughly staged, including 42 patients with limited-stage and 63 patients with extensive-stage disease. Serum CK-BB was elevated (>10 ng/ml) in 27 patients (26%) (range, 11 to 522 ng/ml; median, 40 ng/ml). Only 1 of 42 patients with limited disease had an elevated serum CK-BB, while 26 of 63 (41%) of patients with extensive disease did. When patients were subgrouped according to the number of metastatic sites detected in pretreatment staging, a significant association between the presence of an elevated serum CK-BB and the number of metastatic sites was observed (p < 0.005). No association between the presence of metastatic disease in a specific site and an elevated serum CK-BB could be detected. After adjusting for the number of metastatic sites, survival among patients with a normal pretreatment CK-BB was significantly better than in patients with an elevated CK-BB (p = 0.014). Sequential serum \CK-BB determinations in 33 patients revealed an excellent correlation between clinical response to therapy and serum CK-BB levels. Continuous SCLC cell lines established from 13 patients in this study all expressed high levels of CK-BB. These data suggest that serum CK-BB determinations may be of value in estimating the extent of tumor dissemination, assigning prognosis, and monitoring response to therapy in patients with SCLC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5399-5403
Number of pages5
JournalCancer research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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