Introduction/Background The gold standard of serum tumour markers to detect ovarian cancer is CA125, HE-4 and algorithm ROMA. However there is still need to improve its accuracy. Cytokines play a crucial role in tumour growth and progression according to proangiogenic and immunosuppressive acting. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential use of serum levels of selected cytokines in preoperative diagnosing of adnexal mass.
Methodology The study group consisted of 128 patients: 35 with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), 8 with borderline tumors and 85 with benign cysts (24 teratomas, 27 endometriotic and 34 other epithelial). We measured in sera obtained preoperatively the level of CA125, HE-4 and the panel of 6 cytokines: IL 1β, 6, 8, 10, 12, TNF using cytometric bead array (CBA) and one chemokine CXCL1/GRO-α by ELISA.
Results Serum levels of IL-6, IL-8, IL-10 and CXCL1/GRO-α were the highest in patients with ovarian cancer (2045 pg/ml; 208; 32; 356 pg/ml, respectively), mid-range in borderline group (29 pg/ml; 45, 20; 278 pg/ml) and the lowest in benign ovarian tumours (17 pg/ml; 29; 16; 127 pg/ml, respectively). The similar pattern was present with standard ovarian cancer markers – CA125 (959 vs 206 vs 43 U/ml) and HE-4 (534 vs 117 vs 51 pmol/l). Other investigated cytokines had similar levels in all groups of patients. Analyzing the differences in the subgroups of women with benign ovarian tumours we didn’t observe any significant except CA125 and IL-8; they were slightly elevated in cases of endometriotic ovarian cysts.
Conclusion Proinflammatory cytokines (IL-6, IL-8), immunosuppressive (IL-10) and CXCL1/GRO-α were highly elevated in sera of EOC patients what points on their role in cancer development. Moreover, they might be useful in preoperative assessment of the risk of malignancy as they were higher than in patients with benign and also borderline ovarian tumors.
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