Circulating Candidate Biomarkers in Giant Cell Tumours of Bone

Amalia Conti, Alessandra Luchini, Maria Serena Benassi, Giovanna Magagnoli, Michela Pierini, Martina Piccinni-Leopardi, Irene Quattrini , Serena Pollino, Piero Picci, Lance A Liotta, Laura Pazzaglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: Approximately 5% of giant cell tumours of bone (GCT) develop pulmonary metastases. Although many biomarkers have been proposed, identification of circulating low abundance molecules may be useful to predict malignant progression.

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: The hydrogel nanoparticle technique followed by mass spectrometry was used to detect low molecular weight serum proteins or protein fragments in serum of 20 GCT patients with different clinical course and in 10 healthy sera used as control. The most representative low-abundant de novo or differentially abundant proteins were submitted to String database that recognized interconnected activated pathways including protein activation cascade, wound healing, cell-substrate adhesion, response to stress. Statistics were performed for identification of candidate prognostic factors.

RESULTS: Proteoma cluster analysis separated metastasis-free from metastatic GCT patients in two well-defined groups where serum levels of signalling transduction mediators and regulators of kinase activity presented a high discriminatory power. Increased expression of proteins STAT5B, GRB2 and OXSR1 was related to a higher probability of metastasis. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that tumour grade and STAT5B were independent prognostic factors.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: By using a non invasive technique we identified differentially abundant serum candidate biomarkers, also providing prognostic information in patients with GCT of bone. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalProteomics - Clinical Applications
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


  • mass spectrometr
  • metastasis
  • nanoparticles
  • prognostic biomarkers
  • serum proteins


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