Tumor Biology

, Volume 35, Issue 11, pp 11467–11472 | Cite as

Plasma interleukin-11 (IL-11) levels have diagnostic and prognostic roles in patients with pancreatic cancer

  • Chuanli Ren
  • Yong Chen
  • Chongxu Han
  • Deyuan Fu
  • Hui ChenEmail author
Research Article


Interleukin-11 (IL-11) affects inflammation, motility, and invasion in cancer. Here, we investigated the clinical significance of plasma IL-11 (IL-11p) levels in patients with pancreatic cancer. We enrolled 44 patients with pathologically confirmed diagnoses of pancreatic cancer into this study (median age at diagnosis, 68 years; range, 42–86 years), along with 30 age- and sex-matched healthy controls and 3 patients with pancreatitis complicated with pancreatic cysts and 15 patients with early pancreatitis. Median baseline IL-11p levels of patients with pancreatic cancer were significantly higher than that of the healthy controls (P < 0.001), as were those of the 15 patients with early pancreatitis. IL-11p levels presented high diagnostic accuracy for pancreatic cancer (area under the curve (AUC), 0.901; sensitivity, 97.7 %; specificity, 70.0 %). Age, sex, lesion site, disease stage, serum dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase, γ-glutamyltransferase, and white blood cells, platelets, and hemoglobin levels did not correlate with IL-11p concentrations (P > 0.05), but patients with distant metastases had lower median IL-11p values than did patients without distant metastases (P = 0.043). Patients with IL-11p higher than the median level (43.2 pg/mL) had better prognoses than those with lower values (P = 0.004), particularly as IL-11p concentration increased to ≥50 pg/mL (P = 0.001). IL-11p concentration correlated with overall survival (≥median IL-11p, 10 months; <median IL-11p, 4.0 months; P = 0.004). In conclusion, IL-11p has diagnostic, predictive, and prognostic applications for patients with pancreatic cancer.


Plasma IL-11 Prognosis Pancreatic cancer 



This study was supported by the Foundation of the Social Development of Jiangsu Province (BE2012705), Foundation of China Postdoctoral Studies (M2013541699), Foundation of Jiangsu Province Postdoctoral Studies (1302149C), and the National Nature Science Foundation of China (81172508).

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chuanli Ren
    • 1
    • 5
    • 6
  • Yong Chen
    • 2
  • Chongxu Han
    • 1
  • Deyuan Fu
    • 3
  • Hui Chen
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Clinical Medical Testing LaboratoryNorthern Jiangsu People’s Hospital and Clinical Medical College of Yangzhou UniversityYangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of OncologyNorthern Jiangsu People’s Hospital and Clinical Medical College of Yangzhou UniversityYangzhouChina
  3. 3.Department of Breast Oncology SurgeryNorthern Jiangsu People’s Hospital and Clinical Medical College of Yangzhou UniversityYangzhouChina
  4. 4.Department of Geriatric MedicineNorthern Jiangsu People’s Hospital and Clinical Medical College of Yangzhou UniversityYangzhouChina
  5. 5.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Ministry of Education (MOE) Key Laboratory of Modern Toxicology, School of Public HealthNanjing Medical UniversityNanjingChina
  6. 6.Section of Clinical Epidemiology, Jiangsu Key Lab of Cancer Biomarkers, Prevention and Treatment, Cancer CenterNanjing Medical UniversityNanjingChina

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