Background: The prognosis of stomach cancer with advanced stage remains poor. New biomarkers of the disease that may contribute to establish the potential screening strategy would be of value for the early detection of individuals at high risk of the disease. Methods: We conducted a prospective, nested case-control analysis among apparently healthy men and women who were followed for up to 8 years in the Japan Collaborative Cohort (JACC) Study, to evaluate serum levels of insulin-like growth factor I, II, and binding protein 3 (IFG-I, IGF-II, and IGFBP-3), transforming growth factor β-1 (TGF β 1), soluble fas (sFas) and superoxide dismutase activity (SOD) in 210 stomach cancer cases diagnosed in the JACC Study in relation to those levels in their 410 controls. Results: Among 6 serum biomarkers tested for case-control differences, only sFas level in female stomach cancer cases was significantly higher than that of controls (2.22 pg/ml vs. 2.04 pg/mL, respectively; P = 0.013 by two-way analysis of covariance controlling for matching variable). Conclusion: None of the biomarkers consistently predicted future risk of stomach cancer in both men and women in the present analysis. Serum sFas level in women, however, should be studied much more thoroughly whether it provides meaningful refinement of risk stratification, or it elucidate the mechanisms of tumorigenesis in women.
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