Breast Cancer

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 187–190

Trends of IL-6 and IL-8 levels in patients with recurrent breast cancer: preliminary report

  • Takao Yokoe
  • Yuichi lino
  • Yasuo Morishita
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF02967458

Cite this article as:
Yokoe, T., lino, Y. & Morishita, Y. Breast Cancer (2000) 7: 187. doi:10.1007/BF02967458



We reported that IL-6 and IL-8 levels at the beginning of treatment are predictive indicators of response to therapy and prognosis of patients with recurrent breast cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate the trend of IL-6 and IL-8 levels in heavily pretreated patients with recurrent breast cancer.


Cytokine level trends in 12 patients heavily pretreated with anthracyclines were studied. Patients were divided into two groups according to the objective response. There were 5 partial response (PR)/no change (NC), and 7 progressive disease (PD) patients. Blood was taken every four weeks. IL-6 was measured by chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay. IL-8 was measured by ELISA.


The pretreatment level of IL-6 in the PR/NC group (11.0±2.1 pg/ml) was significantly lower than that (15.3±2.7 pg/ml) in the PD group. However, there was no difference in IL-8 level between the PR/NC group (12.5±5.5 pg/ml) and the PD group (11.5±1.1 pg/ml). IL-6 levels in the PR/NC group were maintained within normal levels or decreased to within normal levels after treatment, while levels of IL-6 in the PD group gradually increased until the time of patient death. A decrease in IL-8 level after treatment was observed in only one patient in the PR/NC group. Mild increase of IL-8 levels was observed in the PD group.


Continuous elevation of IL-6 levels indicates poor prognosis in heavily pretreated patients with recurrent breast cancer. Combination therapy including agents that reduce IL-6 levels will be a new strategy for aggressively treating recurrent breast cancer.

Key words

Cytokine IL-6 IL-8 Recurrent breast cancer 





Tumor necrosis factor


Partial response


No change


Progressive disease


Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay


Standard error of the mean


Medroxyprogesterone acetate



Copyright information

© The Japanese Breast Cancer Society 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takao Yokoe
    • 1
  • Yuichi lino
    • 1
  • Yasuo Morishita
    • 2
  1. 1.Emergency and Critical Care MedicineGunma University School of MedicineGunma
  2. 2.Second Department of SurgeryGunma University School of MedicineGunma
  3. 3.Emergency and Critical Care MedicineGunma University School of MedicineMaebashi, GunmaJapan

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