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Tumour Biol. 2014 Feb;35(2):1599-603. doi: 10.1007/s13277-013-1220-2. Epub 2013 Sep 26.

Diagnostic value of pleural interleukin 17 and carcinoembryonic antigen in lung cancer patients with malignant pleural effusions.

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  • 1First Department of Respiratory Medicine, Nanjing Chest Hospital, 215 Guangzhou Road, Nanjing, 210029, China.


Interleukin 17 (IL-17) has been found to be increased in some human cancers; however, the possible implication of IL-17 in regulating antitumor responses in lung cancer patients with malignant pleural effusions (MPE) remains to be elucidated. This study aimed to investigate the diagnostic value of pleural IL-17 and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) in MPE and benign pleural effusions (BPE). Pleural effusion samples from 108 patients were classified on the basis of diagnosis as MPE (n = 56) and BPE (n = 52). The concentration of IL-17 was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The CEA levels were also determined in all patients. A significant difference was observed in the levels of CEA (P < 0.01) between MPE and BPE. The concentration of IL-17 in MPE was significantly higher compared to that in BPE (P < 0.01). With a cutoff point of 15.7 pg/ml, IL-17 had a sensitivity of 76.8 % and a specificity of 80.8 % for differential diagnosis. The combined detection of IL-17 and CEA had a sensitivity of 96.4 % and a specificity of 92.3 % to distinguish MPE from BPE. The combined detection of IL-17 and CEA may be more valuable in the differential diagnosis between MPE and BPE.

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