Background: Lymphotoxin-beta receptor (LTβR) is an immunological protein associated with inflammation, and from preclinical studies is implicated in tumorigenesis. The epidemiological relationships with cancer are unknown, hence this study investigated their associations. Methods: From a multiethnic population-based cohort, 3,032 participants without a prevalent cancer (a diagnosis prior to or within one year of enrollment) at baseline underwent measurement of plasma LTβR. These participants were followed for incident cancer using the Texas Cancer Registry (TCR). Results: Over a median follow-up of 12.1 years, 178 participants developed incident cancer, of which 30 participants developed incident gastrointestinal (GI) cancer. Median plasma LTβR (1.10 vs. 1.00 ng/mL, P<0.02) levels were higher in individuals with overall incident cancer compared to those without cancer. After adjustments for age, sex, and race/ethnicity, these relationships were no longer significant. When analyses were stratified by cancer type, LTβR was positively associated with GI cancer after adjustments: HR, 95% CI per 1-standard deviation increase in concentration 2.64 (1.23–5.68), P=0.013. LTβR stratified by quartiles was significantly associated temporally with the risk of incident GI cancer, log-rank: P=0.011. The median interval to incident GI cancer diagnosis was 5.9 years. Conclusions: Increased plasma levels of LTβR are associated with the development of GI cancer. The antecedent findings years prior to a subsequent diagnosis of incident GI cancer suggest a role for LTβR in the pathogenesis of GI cancer. Further studies are needed to determine if LTβR can serve as an immune biomarker for GI cancer, in particular hepatocellular and colorectal cancers.
- Colorectal carcinoma
- Gastrointestinal cancer (GI cancer)
- Hepatocellular carcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas