International Journal of Hematology and Oncology 2019, Vol 29, Num 4 Page(s): 129-137
The Contribution of Serum Ferritin, Iron, Iron Binding Capacity and Bronchoalveolar Lavage Ferritin Levels in Differential Diagnosis of Lung Cancer from Benign Pulmonary Diseases

Ahmet E. ERBAYCU1, Hayriye UÇAR1, Mehmet GÜLPEK1, Fevziye TUKSAVUL1, Dilek KALENCİ2, Salih Z. GÜÇLÜ1

1Izmir Training And Research Hospital For Thoracic Medicine And Surgery, Department of Chest Diseases and Tuberculosis
2Izmir Training And Research Hospital For Thoracic Medicine And Surgery, Department of Biochemistry, IZMIR

Keywords: Ferritin, Iron, Bronchoalveolar lavage, Lung cancer, Pulmonary tuberculosis
The aim of this study is to investigate if serum iron, iron-binding capacity, ferritin and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) ferritin levels are useful to differentiate lung cancer from benign pulmonary diseases, and also to test the accuracy of hypothesis of “ferritin accumulation in the tumor area”.

Patients prospectively scheduled for diagnostic bronchoscopy were included and divided into three diagnosis groups: lung cancer, pulmonary tuberculosis and other benign pulmonary diseases.

Sixty six men and 7 women, 73 patients were included. Statistically significant difference was not found among three groups for serum iron, iron binding capacity and ferritin levels (p=0.151, p=0.972, p=0.278). The difference was statistically insignificant for BAL ferritin levels between three groups (p=0.584). Mean BAL ferritin level was 73.56 ng/ml in central and 31.54 ng/ml in peripheric lung cancer (p=0.087). The mean serum iron level was lower in stage IV and III compared to Stage II and I patients (p=0.004). None of other measurements differed according to tumor stages. In lung cancer group, the type of tumor had no effect on serum iron, iron binding capacity, and serum and BAL ferritin levels.

In conclusion; serum ferritin, serum iron, serum iron binding capacity and BAL ferritin measures do not help in differantiating lung cancer from benign pulmonary diseases. The histological types, stages and localization of lung cancer do not effect BAL ferritin levels. The results of the study did not support the hypothesis of ferritin accumulation in the tumor area.