Background. Plasma from laparotomized mice has been shown to stimulate in vitro tumor growth when compared to results with preoperative plasma. This study assessed the effect of plasma from patients who underwent major open (OS) or laparoscopic surgery (LS) on in vitro tumor cell growth. Methods. Eighty-four patients undergoing major abdominal surgery were studied (45 OS, 39 LS). Peripheral blood was collected preoperatively (PreOP) and on days 1 (POD1) and 3 (POD3) after operation. HT29 human colon cancer cells were plated with samples of the plasma. Proliferation was assessed by cell counts and the bromodeoxyuridine incorporation assay. Insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 was detected in plasma by Western blot analysis. Results. Increased mitogenic activity was noted in POD1 OS plasma when compared to PreOP OS plasma results (P < .005). This increase correlated with the length of incision (r = 0.58, P < .01). No differences were noted when the PreOP LS and POD1 LS results were compared or for any of the POD3 versus PreOP comparisons. Conclusions. Major OS is associated with alterations in plasma composition that promote HT29 tumor cell proliferation in vitro. As shown, this effect was due, at least in part, to surgery-related depletion of insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 in peripheral blood.
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