Insulin Resistance and Colorectal Cancer Risk: the Role of Elevated Plasma Resistin Levels

Abstract

Purpose

Given the important role of resistin in insulin resistance (IR) and obesity, as well as the associations between both IR and obesity and increased risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), we investigated whether plasma resistin levels were associated with CRC risk. Furthermore, the possible correlations between resistin and insulin, IR, and obesity in patients with CRC and controls were explored.

Methods

This study was conducted as a case-control study and 170 subjects, including 88 controls and 82 cases with CRC, were enrolled and their plasma levels of glucoe, insulin, and resistin were measured using glucose oxidase or ELISA methods. Moreover, IR was calculated according to HOMA-IR index.

Results

The cases with CRC had a higher HOMA-IR than the controls (1.8 ± 0.4 versus 1.4 ± 0.3, P < 0.001). Additionally, after the stratification of the cases with CRC by tumor site, higher levels of resistin and insulin, and a higher HOMA-IR in the cases with rectal cancer than in the controls were observed (resistin 5.9 ± 1.2 versus 5.4 ± 1.3, P = 0.043; insulin 5.9 ± 1.2 versus 5.4 ± 1.3, P = 0.039; HOMA- IR 1.9 ± 0.4 versus 1.3 ± 0.3, P < 0.001). Furthermore, resistin was positively correlated with insulin in the controls (r = 0.737, P < 0.001), the cases with CRC (r = 0.881, P < 0.001), the cases with colon cancer (r = 0.811, P < 0.001), and the cases with rectal cancer (r = 0.990, P < 0.001). All these differences remained significant after adjustment for confounding factors.

Conclusions

The findings of the present study reinforce the hypothesis that higher plasma levels of resistin in connection with insulin resistance play a role in susceptibility to colorectal, notably rectal, cancer. Nevertheless, further studies with bigger sample sizes are required to validate these findings.

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Acknowledgments

The authors thank all patients and healthy blood donors for providing blood samples.

Funding

This work was supported by a grant from Qom University of Medical Sciences (No. 94536).

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Correspondence to Hamid Farahani.

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Farahani, H., Mahmoudi, T., Asadi, A. et al. Insulin Resistance and Colorectal Cancer Risk: the Role of Elevated Plasma Resistin Levels. J Gastrointest Canc 51, 478–483 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12029-019-00260-7

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Keywords

  • Colorectal cancer
  • Obesity
  • Insulin resistance
  • IR
  • Plasma
  • Resistin