Biomedical Sciences ETDs

Publication Date



Introduction: Cancer metastasis to mediastinal and hilar lymph nodes is indicative of a poor prognosis. It is thus important to understand the pathogenesis of cancer metastasis on a cellular and molecular level with a goal to develop novel therapies directed towards prevention and treatment. In this study we compared cytokine expression in benign versus malignant mediastinal and hilar lymph nodes using EBUS-FNA biopsy specimen. Methods: In this prospective, single center study, we collected EBUS-FNA biopsies from patients recruited using a convenience sampling approach. Cytokines were assayed using Bio-Plex Pro human cancer biomarker panels 1 and 2 in a Bio-Rad 200 suspension array system in two phases. The unique cytokine profile obtained from phase I for cancer metastasis was validated in phase II. Results: In phase I, analysis was performed using 18 specimens. After collection of additional 36 specimens, phase II cytokine analysis was performed on 54 specimens collected from 28 patients. Malignant and benign histologic diagnoses were established in 16 patients (primarily non-small cell lung cancer) and 12 patients, respectively. Cytokine analysis showed repeated significant elevation of follistatin (p= 0.001), uPA (p<0.001), osteopontin (p<0.001), HER2/neu (p<0.001), VEGFR-1 (p<0.001), HGF (p<0.001) and VEGF-A (p<0.001) in malignant samples when compared to benign lymph nodes. Conclusion: We have identified and validated a novel cytokine profile of metastatic cancer in mediastinal and hilar lymph nodes. This will guide future studies to detect cancer biomarkers in lymph nodes with the goals to improve the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of cancer metastasis.


Cytokine, Biomarker, Metastasis, Endobronchial Ultrasound, Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy


Department of Internal Medicine (Seed Grant), University of New Mexico

Document Type




Degree Name

Clinical Research

Level of Degree


Department Name

Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

First Committee Member (Chair)

Mishra, Shiraz I.

Second Committee Member

Hill, Deirdre A.

Third Committee Member

Sopori, Mohan L.