Does gamma-glutamyltransferase correlate with liver tumor burden in neuroendocrine tumors?


PURPOSE: In patients with neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) and liver metastases, increased gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) is commonly assumed as an indicator for progressive disease. To date, however, empirical data are lacking. This study aimed to investigate associations between GGT and liver tumor burden. In longitudinal analyses, associations of GGT and radiographic responses of liver metastases under therapy were investigated.

METHODS: The cross-sectional sample consisted of 104 patients who were treated at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf from 2008 to 2021 (mean age 62.3 ± 12.6 years, 58.7% male). GGT and liver imaging were identified in a time range of 3 months. Radiologic reassessments were performed to estimate liver tumor burden. In a separate longitudinal sample (n = 15), the course of GGT levels under chemotherapy was analyzed. Data were retrospectively analyzed with a univariate ANOVA, linear regression analyses, and Wilcoxon tests.

RESULTS: Of 104 cross-sectionally analyzed patients, 54 (51.9%) showed a GGT elevation. GGT levels and liver tumor burden were positively correlated (p < 0.001), independently from age, gender, primary tumor location, grading, and cholestasis. Notably, GGT increase was associated with a liver tumor burden of >50%. In the longitudinal sample, 10 of 11 patients with progressive disease showed increasing GGT, whereas 4 of 4 patients with regressive disease showed declining GGT.

CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate that GGT is associated with liver tumor burden. Over the course of therapy, GGT appears to change in line with radiographic responses. Further longitudinal studies with larger sample sizes are required to define GGT as a reliable marker for tumor response.

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StatusVeröffentlicht - 02.2024

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© 2023. The Author(s).

PubMed 37770647