Serum levels of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) in thyroid cancer patients
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Background and aims
There is growing evidence that cytokines and their antagonists are important in the pathogenesis of various malignancies. While there are several reports on interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra) gene polymorphism and tissue expression, there is only little data available on the impact of IL-1ra serum levels. Therefore, we performed a prospective study, analyzing IL-1ra in thyroid cancer patients.
Materials and methods
We measured preoperative IL-1ra serum levels of 52 consecutive patients with thyroid cancer, 15 with benign adenoma and 27 healthy volunteers. The final histological diagnosis revealed 21 patients with papillary and 8 patients with follicular carcinoma (FTC), while 12 cases of medullary and 11 cases of anaplastic carcinoma (ATC) were observed.
Compared to the control group, serum concentrations of IL-1ra were significantly higher in ATC and FTC patients. Concerning gender differences, this effect reached significance only in women with ATC and FTC. Except for the stage IV disease in ATC, there was no correlation between IL-1ra levels and International Union Against Cancer staging.
The findings of our study indicate that IL-1ra may play an important role in the development of ATC and FTC. Future efforts should focus on the possible application of IL-1ra as a biomarker for the above-mentioned thyroid malignancies.
KeywordsInterleukin-1 receptor antagonist Thyroid cancer
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