Adhesion molecules play an important role in tumor metastasis. E-selectin can support adhesion of colon cancer cells through the recognition of specific carbohydrate ligands. High levels of soluble E-selectin (sE-selectin) had been reported in melanoma and sonic epithelial tumors, especially in colorectal carcinoma. The concentrations of the sE-selectin were investigated in serum samples of 64 patients (32 men and 32 women) with colorectal cancer and 16 healthy subjects. Median age was 57 (range 20-75). Nineteen patients were staged as Dukes D, 9 of whom had liver metastasis. Serum levels of sE-selectin were determined by ELISA. In the study group, sE-selectin concentrations (mean +/- SE, ng/ml) were not significantly elevated, compared with the control group (41.09 +/- 4.57 in the control group and 43.80 +/- 1.88 in patients, p>0.05). Mean sE-selectin levels were 42.27 +/- 1.85 in non-metastatic and 47.42 +/- 4.57 in metastatic patients (p>0.05). Serum concentrations of sE-selectin were significantly elevated in patients with colorectal cancer metastatic to liver (59.07 +/- 7.52) in comparison to other patients without liver metastasis (p=0.013). There were no significant correlations between sE-selectin levels and other parameters such as age of patients, stage of disease, histopathological differentiation or localization of primary tumor. Elevated sE-selectin levels were confirmed as correlating with poor overall survival. In conclusion, sE-selectin concentrations may not be used as a predictive marker of metastasis in colorectal carcinoma, but high levels of sE-selectin may support diagnosis of liver metastasis.