Gastric Cancer

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 124–131 | Cite as

Clinical significance of interleukin-6 (IL-6) in the spread of gastric cancer: role of IL-6 as a prognostic factor

  • Tatsuto Ashizawa
  • Ryosuke Okada
  • Yoshiaki Suzuki
  • Makoto Takagi
  • Tatsuyuki Yamazaki
  • Tetsuo Sumi
  • Toshiaki Aoki
  • Shinobu Ohnuma
  • Tatsuya Aoki
Original article

Abstract

Background

It is becoming clear that various cytokines are associated with the spread of cancer cells. The purpose of this study was to compare interleukin (IL)-6 levels in patients with gastric cancer to elucidate the role of IL-6 in predicting the spread of tumors.

Methods

In 60 patients, we assessed the correlation of serum IL-6 (pg/ml) with stage, histological findings, hepatic metastasis, and related factors (hepatocyte growth factor [HGF], IL-1β, tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-α, and transforming growth factor [TGF]-β1). We also investigated the diagnostic significance of the IL-6 level for advanced gastric cancer and lymph node metastasis, as well as the association between IL-6 elevation and outcome. Finally, we examined the expression of IL-6 in tumor tissue.

Results

Significant relationships were seen between serum IL-6 and stage, depth of tumor invasion (pT), lymphatic invasion (ly), venons invasion (v)*, lymph node metastasis (pN), hepatic metastasis (cH), and HGF (P < 0.01; *P < 0.05). With regard to the diagnostic significance of the IL-6 level for advanced gastric cancer and lymph node metastasis, when the cutoff value of IL-6 was set at 1.97 pg/ml, the sensitivity was 81.8% and 87.5%; specificity was 66.7% and 58.3%; and accuracy was 77.1% and 72.9%, respectively. The 1- and 3-year cumulative survival rates for patients with an IL-6 value of more than 1.97 pg/ml (69.0% and 43.4%, respectively) were significantly lower than those for patients with an IL-6 value of 1.97 pg/ml or less (94.4% and 87.2%, respectively; P < 0.05). Immunohistochemical staining was positive for IL-6 in the cytoplasm of cancer cells.

Conclusion

We suspect that IL-6 is involved in cancer invasion and lymph node and/or hepatic metastasis. Our results indicate that IL-6 could be used as a prognostic factor for survival.

Key words

IL-6 HGF Advanced gastric cancer Lymph node metastasis Hepatic metastasis Outcome Prognostic factor 

Copyright information

© International and Japanese Gastric Cancer Association 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tatsuto Ashizawa
    • 1
  • Ryosuke Okada
    • 1
  • Yoshiaki Suzuki
    • 1
  • Makoto Takagi
    • 1
  • Tatsuyuki Yamazaki
    • 1
  • Tetsuo Sumi
    • 1
  • Toshiaki Aoki
    • 1
  • Shinobu Ohnuma
    • 2
  • Tatsuya Aoki
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Digestive Tract SurgeryHachioji Medical Center of Tokyo Medical UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryTokyo Medical UniversityTokyoJapan

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