Cancer research

Putrescine as a biochemical marker of malignant brain tumors.

PMID 227593


Putrescine, spermidine, and spermine levels were determined in normal brain and central nervous system-related tumor tissues obtained at operation from 50 patients. The biochemical data were correlated with morphological histopathological descriptions of the same tissues. There was little variation in putrescine levels in normal cerebral cortical tissue. Subcortical white matter had lower putrescine but higher spermidine content than those of the overlying cortex. Putrescine levels were elevated in all astrocytomas assayed, and the magnitude of this elevation was proportional to the malignancy of the tumor as determined by histopathological criteria. In contradistinction, putrescine content of "benign" tumors was generally equal to or lower than that of the normal cerebral cortex. Spermidine and spermine levels varied widely in the tumors assayed and did not correlate with criteria of malignancy. It is concluded that putrescine may be a good biochemical marker of malignancy in central nervous system-related tumors.