International Journal of Medical Sciences

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21 April 2019

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Int J Med Sci 2019; 16(3):403-408. doi:10.7150/ijms.28814

Research Paper

Prognostic significance of serum soluble DR5 levels in small-cell lung cancer

Zhenfa Wan1,#, Xiaoshan Zhang2,#, Xinshuang Yu3, Yong Hou3,✉

1. Department of Medical Imaging, The Fourth Hospital of Jinan City, Shandong, 250014, China
2. Department of Medical Imaging, Weihaiwei People's Hospital, Weihai, Shandong, 264200, China
3. Department of Radiation Oncology, Shandong Provincial Qianfoshan Hospital, Jinan, Shandong, 250014, China
#These two authors contributed equally to this work.


The death receptor 5 (DR5) is a member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily that can transduce the apoptosis signal in cells. This study assessed serum levels of soluble death receptor 5 (sDR5) in small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) patients compared with those in healthy controls. Clinicopathological features of patients, treatment responses, and overall survival of patients were also recorded and analyzed. The sDR5 levels were analyzed using ELISA in 50 healthy controls and 82 SCLC patients before and after first-line chemotherapy. The statistical data showed that pre-treatment levels of serum sDR5 in SCLC patients were higher than those of healthy controls (P<0.001). Pre-treatment levels of serum sDR5 were significantly associated with smoking history of patients, Veterans Administration Lung Study Group (VALSG) stage, tumor size, and lymph node (N) metastasis (P=0.028, 0.001, 0.028, and 0.01, respectively). After treatment with the first-line chemotherapy, the post-treatment levels of serum sDR5 were obviously decreased (P<0.001), and correlated with treatment responses (P<0.001), although there was no significant difference in their pretreatment sDR5 levels (P=0.62). Cox proportional hazard analysis demonstrated that the post-treatment levels of serum sDR5, VALSG stage, and PS status were all independent predictors for overall survival of patients. The results from the current study indicate that serum level of sDR5 could be further confirmed as a biomarker to predict treatment responses and survival of SCLC patients.

Keywords: Small-cell lung cancer, soluble death receptor 5, biomarker, treatment responses, overall survival

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) license ( See for full terms and conditions.
How to cite this article:
Wan Z, Zhang X, Yu X, Hou Y. Prognostic significance of serum soluble DR5 levels in small-cell lung cancer. Int J Med Sci 2019; 16(3):403-408. doi:10.7150/ijms.28814. Available from