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Category: Cancer Biomarkers

Biomarker Lactic Acid Dehydrogenase Predicts Cancer Progression and Overall Survival

Aberrant metabolism and inefficient fuel production are characteristic of tumor cells, which are dominated by aerobic glycolysis, increased lactate production, and a higher uptake of glucose (the Warburg effect). Elevated LDH is a marker of these aberrant metabolic processes in cancer cells. High serum LDH levels are associated with poor prognosis in patients with cancer and predict progression and overall survival.

Aerobic glycolysis was described for the first time about a century ago by Otto H. Warburg who showed that cancer cells metabolize glucose differently than normal cells (Warburg effect) and that tumors derive energy mainly from the conversion of glucose to lactic acid and minimally via cellular respiration involving oxygen. Tumors produce massive amounts of the aerobic glycolysis waste product, lactic acid. This is evidence of deregulated metabolism, hence the understanding of cancer as “disorder of cellular metabolism”.  Lactic Acid itself may promote the growth and spread of cancer cells, especially at high concentrations by changing the tumor microenvironment.

Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) is an enzyme that catalyzes the reduction of pyruvate to lactate at the end of the glycolytic pathway.

The normal range for LDH is 100-333 u/L, with levels greater than 245 u/L considered to be in the upper quartile of normal.  Elevated LDH, above 245 u/L, is suggestive of early carcinogenesis, tumor cell proliferation, tumor progression, and poor prognosis.

LDH is often highly elevated in aggressive forms of cancer and hematological malignancies including melanoma, lymphoma, acute leukemia, seminoma germ cell, pancreatic, gastric, lung, renal cell, nasopharyngeal, esophageal, cervical, and prostate cancers.

The OutSmart Cancer System® recognizes cancer as a metabolic syndrome and leverages the abnormal metabolism of tumor cells to exert influence over the tumor microenvironment and the behavior of tumor cells. Attending to the Cancer Terrain is a fundamental approach for influencing cancer cell metabolism.  

EGCG, a catechin found in Green Tea (H. Camellia sinensis) has been identified as an agent which inhibits LDH activity in normal and low oxygen environments by influencing the conversion of pyruvate to lactate at the end of the glycolytic pathway.  This may deprive cancer cells of their preferred fuel, glucose, and metabolites, including lactate that produces a favorable environment for malignant proliferation, growth, and progression. Recommended Therapeutic Dose 1-3 grams daily.

Monitoring trends in LDH is a method of both identifying abnormal cellular metabolism found in many solid and hematologic malignancies and is also of value in identifying early signs of recurrence as well as disease progression.

For patients achieving remission, during the first two years after completion of cancer treatment, LDH and other biomarkers of the Cancer Terrain are monitored every 3 months.  Thereafter, every six months for 3-10 more years to track and identify early signs of recurrence.  

For patients living with cancer as a chronic illness, LDH and biomarkers of the Cancer Terrain are monitored every 3 months to track evidence of recurrence and treatment resistance.

 

Learn more about monitoring the Cancer Terrain and the Tumor Microenvironment.
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By using biomarkers of the Cancer Terrain and cellular metabolism, it is possible to identify trends that allow for early intervention. LDH is one of the most valuable and reliable biomarkers reflecting the active presence of the aberrant physiology of tumor cells and is prognostic and predictive of progression and overall survival in cancer patients.

 

Selected References:

Platelet/ Lymphocyte

Selected Prognostic Cancer Biomarkers from Common Blood Tests

What Can You Learn About Cancer Survival from a CBC?

Common Biomarkers, Cancer Progression and Survival

tumor microenvironment

An excellent paper "Inflammatory markers in cancer: Potential resources * is a thorough and detailed discussion of routinely measured Cancer Biomarkers found in the inflamed tumor microenvironment that are indicative of immune capacity and prognosis. Clinicians will typically have access to a current CBC (Complete Blood Count) with differential and can readily calculate the lymphocyte ratios below

The presence of inflammatory markers is linked to both risks of cancer development and cancer survival.  Cancer-related inflammation is associated with tumorigenesis and tumor progression. Increased levels of multiple biomarkers are present in the tumor microenvironment.

A thorough evaluation will include Cytokines, Leukocytes, Acute-phase proteins (ferritin, ceruloplasmin, CRP).     

Although not routinely measured, prostaglandins, cyclooxygenases, lipoxygenases, transcription factors, and LDH may be elevated. 

Cancer Related Inflammation Promotes

  • Tumor Growth
  • Proliferation
  • Progression
  • Angiogenesis  
  • Metastasis
  • Thrombus Formation
  • Immune Suppression
  • Cancer Related Fatigue  
  • Depression
  • Pain

Selected Prognostic Cancer Biomarkers from the CBC and CMP

  • Neutrophil: Lymphocyte Ratio
  • Lymphocyte: Monocyte Ratio
  • Platelet: Lymphocyte Ratio
  • CRP: Albumin Ratio
  • Hypoalbuminemia

Neutrophil / Lymphocyte Ratio (NLR)

  • Neutrophyl LymphocytesThe neutrophils act as tumor-promoting leukocytes, capable of suppressing anti-tumor immune response; are effectors of angiogenesis; promote leakage of tumor cells and endothelial cells into the circulation, therefore contributing to participate in the metastatic cascade. Therefore, an elevated neutrophil count can stimulate tumor angiogenesis and contribute to disease progression, thus leading to a negative correlation between neutrophil density and patient survival. 
  • On the other hand, lymphocytes are a part of the host’s antitumor response the presence of lymphocytes in the tumor is associated with better responses to chemotherapy and better prognosis. 
  • Thus, the NLR can reflect the balance between the activation of the inflammatory pathway and the antitumor immune function. 
  • The division of neutrophil count by lymphocyte count is defined as NLR. 
  • An increase in NLR has been reported to correlate with poor prognosis in cancer patients.
  • A cut-off value between 2-4 has been reported in cancer patients.

Faria, S. S., Fernandes, P. C., Silva, M. J., Lima, V. C., Fontes, W., Freitas-Junior, R., Eterovic, A. K., Forget, P. The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio: a narrative review. Ecancermedicalscience, 10, 702 (2016) DOI:10.3332/ecancer.2016.702 

Lymphocyte/Monocyte Ratio (LMR) 

  • Lymphocytopenia has been associated with increased tumor burden and poor prognosis. The probable cause could be the destruction of lymphocytes by tumor cells which decreases the body’s anti-tumor response.
  • Monocytosis has also been found to be associated with poor prognosis as they Tumor-associated macrophages, which are an important mediator of cancer progression and metastases. 
  • The division of lymphocyte count by monocyte count is defined as LMR. 
  • A low LMR as a simple biomarker of the host immune system has been suggested to be related to poor prognosis in various cancers. 
  • The median cut-off value for LMR has been reported to be 3.0.

Nishijima TF, Muss HB, Shachar SS, Tamura K, Takamatsu Y Prognostic value of the lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio in patients with solid tumors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Cancer Treat Rev 41(10) 971-8 (2015) DOI: 10.1016/j.ctrv.2015.10.003 

Platelet/Lymphocyte Ratio (PLR)

  • Platelet/ LymphocytePlatelets are another important tumor-promoting leukocyte. They secrete vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), insulin-like growth factor (IGF), transforming growth factor β (TGFβ), and many cytokines which promote epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and promote metastasis.
  • Lymphocytes, as we know, are part of the host's defense against tumors. 
  • The division of platelet count by lymphocyte count is defined as PLR. 
  • The cutoff value estimated for PLR is 160. 
  • A high PLR value correlates with a poor response to therapy and a bad prognosis.

Templeton AJ, Ace O, McNamara MG, Al-Mubarak M, Vera-Badillo FE, Hermanns T, Seruga B, Ocaña A, Tannock IF, Amir E. Prognostic role of platelet to lymphocyte ratio in solid tumors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 23(7) 1204–12 (2014)  DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-14-0146 

CRP/Albumin Ratio (GPS_Glasgow Prognostic Score)

  • Albumin-300x281-1A combination of Albumin and C-reactive protein (CRP) measurements into a 3level predictive score. 
  • Patients who had both a serum elevation of CRP (>1.0 mg/dL) and hypoalbuminemia (<3.5 g/dL) were allocated a GPS of 2. 
  • Patients with only one of the abnormal values were allocated a GPS of 1, and 
  • Patients who had neither were allocated a GPS of 0. 
  • Survival decreases with increasing score

McMillan DC, Crozier JE, Canna K, Angerson WJ, McArdle CS. Evaluation of an inflammation-based prognostic score (GPS) in patients undergoing resection for colon and rectal cancer. Int J Colorectal Dis. 22(8):881–886 9 (2007) DOI: 10.1007/s00384-006-0259-6 

Hypoalbuminemia (mGPS mGlasgow Prognostic Score)

  • Patients who had both a serum elevation of CRP (>1.0 mg/dL) and hypoalbuminemia (<3.5 g/dL) were allocated a GPS of 2. 
  • Patients who had only serum elevation of CRP but not hypoalbuminemia were allocated an mGPS of 1, and 
  • Patients who had neither or only hypoalbuminemia were allocated a mGPS of 0. 
  • Survival decreases with increasing scores.

Similar to GPS but hypoalbuminemia = score 0
Proctor MJ, Morrison DS, Talwar D, Balmer SM, O'Reilly DS, Foulis AK, et al. An inflammation-based prognostic score (mGPS) predicts cancer survival independent of tumor site: a Glasgow Inflammation Outcome Study. Br J Cancer. 104(4):726–734 (2011) DOI: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6606087 
*Richa Chauhan, Vinita Trivedi, Inflammatory markers in cancer: Potential resources 
Frontiers in Bioscience, Scholar, 12, 1-24, Jan 1, 2020