International Journal of Clinical Oncology

, Volume 24, Issue 11, pp 1468–1478 | Cite as

Pro-gastrin-releasing peptide as a marker for the Ewing sarcoma family of tumors

  • Yosuke Honda
  • Hirohisa KatagiriEmail author
  • Mitsuru Takahashi
  • Hideki Murata
  • Junji Wasa
  • Seiichi Hosaka
  • Yuji Ishida
  • Ichiro Ito
  • Koji Muramatsu
  • Tohru Mochizuki
  • Yukihiro Matsuyama
  • Ken Yamaguchi
Original Article



Pro-gastrin-releasing peptide (ProGRP) is an established tumor marker of small cell lung cancer. The purpose of this study was to determine if ProGRP could serve as a tumor marker for the Ewing sarcoma family of tumors (ESFTs).


Sixteen patients with ESFTs (mean age 32 years) were included in this study. As a control group, 42 patients with other tumor types that clinically or pathologically mimic ESFTs were also analyzed. Pre-treatment serum ProGRP and neuron-specific enolase (NSE) levels, the relationships between these levels, and tumor volume were investigated. In addition, serial changes in the serum or plasma ProGRP (6 patients) and NSE levels (5 patients) were measured over the course of treatment.


Pre-treatment serum ProGRP levels were higher than the normal range in 8 of 16 patients; for these eight patients, ProGRP levels positively correlated with tumor volume (R = 0.99). In the control group, ProGRP levels were within the normal range, except for the two patients. Changes in ProGRP levels during treatment were consistent with tumor volume. Serum NSE levels were elevated in 14 of 16 patients with ESFTs and 8 of 42 patients with other tumor types. The range of NSE elevation was much smaller compared to that of ProGRP. Our data indicate that ProGRP is superior to NSE in terms of specificity.


Serum ProGRP levels were elevated in half of the patients with ESFTs and reflected therapeutic response. ProGRP is a reliable tumor marker for the diagnosis of ESFTs and evaluation of treatment response.


Pro-gastrin-releasing peptide Ewing sarcoma family of tumors Neuron-specific enolase 



The authors thank the staffs of the Biobank of the Shizuoka Cancer Center Hospital for sample preparation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Dr. Ken Yamaguchi is the inventor of the ProGRP assay system, and he holds patents on this method. He receives honoraria for patent royalties from the Advanced Life Science Institute, Inc. (Saitama, Japan), a company distributing reagents to several in vitro diagnostics companies, for constructing the assay system. None of other authors have any conflict of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Japan Society of Clinical Oncology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yosuke Honda
    • 1
  • Hirohisa Katagiri
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mitsuru Takahashi
    • 1
  • Hideki Murata
    • 1
  • Junji Wasa
    • 1
  • Seiichi Hosaka
    • 1
  • Yuji Ishida
    • 2
  • Ichiro Ito
    • 3
  • Koji Muramatsu
    • 3
  • Tohru Mochizuki
    • 4
  • Yukihiro Matsuyama
    • 5
  • Ken Yamaguchi
    • 6
  1. 1.Division of Orthopedic OncologyShizuoka Cancer Center HospitalShizuokaJapan
  2. 2.Division of PediatricsShizuoka Cancer Center HospitalShizuokaJapan
  3. 3.Division of PathologyShizuoka Cancer Center HospitalShizuokaJapan
  4. 4.Medical Genetics DivisionShizuoka Cancer Center Research InstituteShizuokaJapan
  5. 5.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryHamamatsu University School of MedicineHamamatsuJapan
  6. 6.Shizuoka Cancer Center Research InstituteShizuokaJapan

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