Article Abstract

Radiotherapy and radiochemotherapy increase serum levels of pro-inflammatory interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein in patients with head and neck cancers

Authors: Dorota Kiprian, Bozena Czarkowska-Paczek, Aleksandra Wyczalkowska-Tomasik, Malgorzata Fuksiewicz, Beata Kotowicz, Leszek Paczek

Abstract

Background: Inflammation influences cancer growth and treatment susceptibility. We investigated the influence of radiochemotherapy and radiotherapy on serum interleukine-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein (CRP), and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) levels in patients with head and neck cancers.
Methods: Of 26 patients enrolled, 8 received radiotherapy (SIB-IMRT, 2.25 Gy/fraction, 30 fractions) and 18 received radiochemotherapy [cisplatin 100 mg/m2 and SIB–IMRT (n=9) or IMRT (2 Gy/fraction, 35 fractions, n=9)]. The control group consisted of healthy individuals. IL-6 and TGF-β concentrations were determined by ELISA and CRP by an immunoturbidimetric method before treatment, 2 and 4 weeks after treatment started, at the end of treatment, and 4 weeks post-treatment.
Results: IL-6 levels were higher in the treatment group compared to controls and increased at all-time points compared to pre-treatment levels (P<0.000, P<0.000, P<0.01, and P<0.01, respectively). CRP levels increased 4 weeks after starting treatment, at the end of treatment, and 4 weeks post-treatment compared to pre-treatment (P=0.02, P=0.001, and P=0.004, respectively). TGF-β levels decreased at all-time points compared to pre-treatment levels (P<0.000, P<0.001, P<0.01, and P<0.01 respectively).
Conclusions: Serum levels of proinflammatory markers, IL-6 and CRP are increased after radiotherapy and radiochemotherapy in patients with head and neck cancers. The adverse effects of IL-6 and CRP could by suppressed by concomitantly decreased TGF-β levels.

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