Soluble Fas and Fas ligand and prognosis in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia
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The soluble forms of Fas and its ligand (sFas and sFasL) correlate with disease progression in various malignancies. We compared serum levels of sFas and sFasL in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and healthy children to determine the prognostic significance of these molecules. Serum levels of sFas and sFasL were measured with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 48 patients with newly diagnosed childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia and 38 healthy children. Cut-off values of sFas and sFasL levels were based on their levels in controls. Clinical and laboratory characteristics were recorded on admission. The mean serum concentration of sFas was 243 ± 40 pg/mL in patients and 238 ± 29 pg/mL in controls. Serum levels of sFasL were 4.33 ± 0.25 ng/mL in patients and 4.27 ± 0.11 ng/mL in controls. Neither difference was significant. Based on the cut-off value, 12.5% of the patients were positive for sFas, and 16.6% were positive for sFasL. Survival was significantly longer in sFasL-positive patients (394 ± 69.6 vs. 254 ± 24.3 days) and the duration of complete remission was also longer (380 ± 65.0 vs. 246 ± 26.0 days) than in sFasL-negative patients (P < 0.02), indicating the important role of this molecule in the response to therapy. Higher sFas levels were associated with hepatosplenomegaly (P < 0.047). In conclusion, sFasL positivity was associated with a favorable outcome in ALL patients.
KeywordsFas Fas ligand Acute lymphoblastic leukemia Childhood Prognosis
This work was supported by grant no. 4724 from Shiraz University of Medical Sciences. We thank Saied Malek Hoseini and the head nurses of the pediatric oncology ward of Amir Hospital in Shiraz for help with liaising with the patients, K. Shashok (AuthorAID in the Eastern Mediterranean) for improving the use of English in the manuscript, and M. Gholami at the Center for Development of Clinical Research of Nemazee Hospital for research assistance.
Conflict of interest
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