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Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 133–138 | Cite as

Interleukin-6 Blood Level Is Associated With Circulating Carcinoembryonic Antigen and Prognosis in Patients With Colorectal Cancer

  • Claudio Belluco
  • Donato Nitti
  • Marylin Frantz
  • Paola Toppan
  • Daniela Basso
  • Mario Plebani
  • Mario Lise
  • J. Milburn Jessup
Original Article

Abstarct

Background: Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is an important proinflammatory cytokine that has multiple effects on stimulating inflammation and cell growth. Experimental data suggest that carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) induces the systemic production of IL-6 and that IL-6 may stimulate tumor cell growth at metastatic sites. We tested the hypothesis that blood concentrations of IL-6 are associated with the amount of circulating CEA and with prognosis in patients with colorectal cancer.

Methods: CEA and IL-6 concentrations were measured by using enzyme immunoassay in preoperative serum samples from 208 patients with stages I through IV colorectal cancer.

Results: Linear regression analysis showed a significant association between serum values of CEA and IL-6 (r = .544; R2 = .296; P < .001). Patients with stage III and stage IV disease had a significantly higher IL-6 serum concentration than those with stage I and stage II disease. In patients with stages I through III, 5-year survival was 83% in cases with concentrations of IL-6 at 10 pg/ml or less (n = 94) and 56% in cases with IL-6 concentrations of more than 10 pg/ml (n = 54; P = .001; median follow-up time, 46 months). By using multivariate analysis, an IL-6 concentration of more than 10 pg/ml was an independent prognostic factor of survival (relative risk = 1.820; P = .020).

Conclusions: In patients with colorectal cancer, blood concentration of IL-6 is associated with high circulating CEA and advanced stage. Furthermore, an IL-6 concentration of more than 10 pg/ml is an independent negative prognostic marker of survival.

Key Words

Colorectal carcinoma CEA Interleukin-6 Prognostic markers Metastasis 

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Copyright information

© The Society of Surgical Oncology, Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudio Belluco
    • 1
  • Donato Nitti
    • 1
  • Marylin Frantz
    • 1
  • Paola Toppan
    • 1
  • Daniela Basso
    • 2
  • Mario Plebani
    • 1
  • Mario Lise
    • 1
  • J. Milburn Jessup
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Oncological and Surgical SciencesIstituto di Clinica Chirurgica Generale II, Università di PadovaPadovaItaly
  2. 2.Laboratory Medicine (DB, MP), University of PadovaPadovaItaly

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