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Are Serum Ferritin Levels a Reliable Cancer Biomarker?

Posted by Manuela Boyle on 5 November 2021
Are Serum Ferritin Levels a Reliable Cancer Biomarker?

The latest research from Panaxea International and Dr Daniel Weber contributes to our knowledge of ferritin as a cancer marker predictor.

Although serum ferritin (SF) has been shown in several studies to be a potential cancer biomarker, the results are inconsistent.

Herein, a systematic review was performed to investigate the clinical SF levels in different types of tumours in order to verify the role of SF levels as a biomarker for cancer diagnosis.

The search was performed using the PubMed/ Medline, Cochrane Library, and Scopus databases.

Observational studies comparing SF levels between healthy adults and patients with cancer were included.

The meta-analysis was carried out according to the inverse variance and random effects model.

The standardised mean differences (SMDs) were assessed at 95% confidence intervals (Cis).

The researchers found that SF was higher in patients with cancer (SMD 3.07; Ci 1.96,4.17), especially for head and neck cancer (SMD 3.88; Ci 0.42,7.34), lung cancer (SMD 1.72; Ci 0.67,2.78), pancreatic cancer (SMD 6.79; Ci 5.66,7.91), and renal cell carcinoma (SMD 1.77; Ci 0.48,3.05).

Moreover, in the advanced stages (Stages iii and iv), ferritin levels were higher than in healthy adults (SMD 4.89; Ci 2.72,7.06, and SMD 8.40; Ci 6.99,9.82, respectively).

SF acts as a biomarker for pancreatic cancer, renal cell carcinoma, lung cancer, and head and neck cancer and is a sensitive biomarker for the detection of advanced stages of tumours.

Reference
Are Serum Ferritin Levels a Reliable Cancer Biomarker? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrition and Cancer. Sep 2021 https://doi.org/10.1080/01635581.2021.1982996.

Author:Manuela Boyle
Tags:NewsEvidence Based ResearchCancer

Associations

  • The Institute for Functional Medicine
  • Society for Integrative Oncology
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Australian Traditional-Medicine Society
  • Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia