Urine PGE-M: A Metabolite of Prostaglandin E2 as a Potential Biomarker of Advanced Colorectal Neoplasia

J. Chad Johnson, Carl R. Schmidt, Martha J. Shrubsole, D. Dean Billheimer, Prashant R. Joshi, Jason D. Morrow, Martin J. Heslin, M. Kay Washington, Reid M. Ness, Wei Zheng, David A. Schwartz, Robert J. Coffey, R. Daniel Beauchamp, Nipun B. Merchant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Background & Aims The enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 is expressed in a majority of colorectal carcinomas (CRCs) and is important in prostaglandin production. We have developed an accurate method to measure the urinary metabolite of prostaglandin E2 (PGE-M) using recently developed mass spectrometric techniques. The purpose of this pre-validation study was to determine if urinary PGE-M levels can be used as a biomarker to discriminate between healthy patients and those with colorectal disease. Methods Urine PGE-M was assessed in a total of 228 patients with CRC, colonic adenomatous polyps, Crohn's disease, and in subjects with no endoscopically detectable disease. Thirteen rectal carcinoma patients were treated with celecoxib and urinary PGE-M was measured before and after treatment. Results Urine PGE-M levels were increased among healthy men compared with healthy women (median, 8.59 [interquartile range (IQR), 5.67-22.3] vs 4.25 [IQR, 2.35-6.03], P = .0027). Urine PGE-M levels among patients with Crohn's disease (median, 19.85 [IQR, 6.89-90.2]), CRC (median, 14.65 [IQR, 5.94-92.1]), or large adenomas greater than 1 cm in size (median, 18.85 [IQR, 11.9-25.6]) were significantly increased when compared with patients who had either small polyps less than 1 cm in size (median, 9.69 [IQR, 6.41-22.2]), or no polyps (median, 7.05 [IQR, 2.35-24.7]) (P = .0001). PGE-M levels decreased significantly after celecoxib treatment in patients with rectal cancer (median, 21.7 [IQR, 16.2-29.9] vs 9.14 [IQR, 7.14-13.2], P = .009). Conclusions The increase in urinary PGE-M in patients with colorectal cancers and large adenomas suggests that urinary PGE-M is a potentially useful biomarker for the detection of advanced colorectal neoplasia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1358-1365
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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