Is there any potential clinical impact of serum phosphorus and magnesium in patients with lung cancer at first diagnosis? A multi-institutional study

Vassilis Kouloulias, Maria Tolia, Nikolaos Tsoukalas, Christos Papaloucas, Kyriaki Pistevou-Gombaki, Anna Zygogianni, Kyriaki Mystakidou, John Kouvaris, Marios Papaloucas, Amanda Psyrri, George Kyrgias, Vasiliki Gennimata, Konstantinos Leventakos, Ioannis Panayiotides, Zoi Liakouli, Nikolaos Kelekis, Aristofanis Papaloucas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: The aim of the study was to determine whether the expression of baseline phosphorus (P) and magnesium (Mg) levels were prognostic in terms of stage and overall survival (OS) in newly diagnosed non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC) patients. Materials and Methods: Retrospectively, 130 patients were selected at the time of diagnosis oflung cancer (100 with NSCLC and 30 with SCLC), before the initialization of any chemo-radiotherapy. The median age was 67 (range 29-92). IA, IB, IIA, IIB, IIIA, IIIB and IV stages were present in 3, 4, 19, 6, 25, 8, and 65 patients, respectively. After centrifugation, the levels of serum P and Mg were measured using the nephelometric method/ photometry and evaluated before any type of treatment. Results: Higher than normal levels of P were found in 127/130 patients, while only four patients had elevated Mg serum values. In terms of Spearman test, higher P serum values correlated with either stage (rho=- 0.334, p<0.001) or OS (rho=-0.212, p=0.016). Additionally, a significant negative correlation of Mg serum levels was found with stage of disease (rho=-0.135, P=0.042). On multivariate cox-regression survival analysis, only stage (p<0.01), performance status (p<0.01) and P serum (p=0.045) showed a significant prognostic value. Conclusions: Our study indicated that pre-treatment P serum levels in lung cancer patients are higher than the normal range. Moreover, P and Mg serum levels are predictive of stage of disease. Along with stage and performance status, the P serum levels had also a significant impact on survival. This information may be important for stratifying patients to specific treatment protocols or intensifying their therapies. However, larger series are now needed to confirm our results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-81
Number of pages5
JournalAsian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


  • Diagnosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Mg
  • Overall survival
  • Phosphorus
  • Prognosis
  • Serum levels
  • Stage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Cancer Research


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