, Volume 91, Issue 12, pp 1355-1368
Date: 21 Sep 2013

The role of interleukin-6 in the evolution of ovarian cancer: clinical and prognostic implications—a review

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An increasing number of studies emphasize the role of inflammation and metabolic changes in the induction of cancer-related symptoms, which can affect cancer evolution and prognosis. These changes result from the interactions between the tumor and the host. To date, however, markers of this peculiar condition, which can help clinicians to manage patients better, have still not been identified with certainty. Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) appears to be particularly appropriate to study these interactions because of its biological characteristics, its peculiar evolution, and the relevant scientific evidence available. Immunosuppression, anemia, depression, and weight loss affect the evolution of EOC and appear to be directly related to the immune-metabolic changes. In light of the aforementioned evidence, our review will focus on interleukin-6 (IL-6) and its role as potential marker of the patients’ immune-metabolic status, to better monitor disease outcome and identify the most appropriate therapeutic strategy in EOC. Furthermore, leptin will be discussed as a sensor of the changes of energy metabolism induced by IL-6.