Predictors of circulating INTERLEUKIN-6 levels in head and neck cancer patients

Authors: Carrondo Cottin, SylvineTurcotte, StéphaneDouville, PierreMeyer, FrançoisBairati, Isabelle
Abstract: Background: Circulating interleukin-6 (IL-6) improves outcome prediction for second primary cancer (SPC) in head and neck cancer (HNC) patients. This study aimed to identify factors associated with IL-6 serum levels in HNC patients. Methods: This study was conducted as part of a phase III chemoprevention trial. IL-6 was measured using chemiluminescent immunometric assay on pretreatment serum sample obtained from 527 stage I-II HNC patients. Patients’ lifestyle habits, sociodemographic, medical and tumor characteristics were evaluated before radiation therapy (RT). Factors independently associated with IL-6 levels before RT were identified using multiple linear regression. Results: The median IL-6 serum level was 3.1 ng/L. In the multivariate analysis, eight factors were significantly associated (p < 0.05) with IL-6: age, gender, marital status, body mass index, tobacco consumption, comorbidities, Karnofsky Performance Status and HNC site. Smoking duration and lifetime pack-years were positively associated with IL-6 serum levels in a dose-response relationship (p-value for trend ≤0.03). Conclusions: Circulating IL-6 is a strong predictor of the occurrence of SPC in HNC patients. We identified eight factors independently associated with serum IL-6 levels in 527 stage I-II HNC patients. The dose-response relationship between lifetime smoking and IL-6 serum levels suggested a causal role of tobacco exposure on IL-6 production. Further studies are needed to establish whether the effect of tobacco exposure on SPC could be partly mediated by IL-6, a pro-inflammatory cytokine.
Document Type: Article de recherche
Issue Date: 28 May 2018
Open Access Date: 19 October 2021
Document version: VoR
Creative Commons Licence:
This document was published in: Cancers of the head and neck, Vol. 3 (1), 1-10 (2018)
BioMed Central
Alternative version: 10.1186/s41199-018-0029-5
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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