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J Surg Oncol. 2004 May 1;86(2):91-8.

Nutritional status and cytokine-related protein breakdown in elderly patients with gastrointestinal malignancies.

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The Second Department of Surgery, Mie University School of Medicine, Tsu, Japan.



Age-related factors affecting cytokine-related whole-body protein breakdown and their relation to clinical outcomes in cancer patients were investigated.


For assessment of protein-calorie malnutrition and protein breakdown, the creatinine height index (CHI) and daily urinary excretion of 3-methylhistidine (3-MH) were measured in 70 patients with gastrointestinal malignancies. Perioperative cytokine profile was evaluated to assess its relation to perioperative protein catabolism.


In elderly patients, daily 3-MH excretion during the stable preoperative period decreased with the increase of tumor interleukin (IL)-6 production, suggestive of the activation of a metabolic compensation mechanism. However, these patients showed significant increases in postoperative 3-MH excretion in accord with perioperative systemic IL-6 response, and this deterioration of the compensating mechanism seemed to be associated with poor clinical outcome. An increase in 3-MH excretion under surgical stress was positively correlated with postoperative consumption of IL-6 soluble receptor (sR) in elderly patients with nutritional depletion.


In elderly cancer patients with protein-calorie malnutrition, metabolic compliance against intrinsic IL-6 may be compensated for in the preoperative stable period, but deteriorate from surgical insults. This mechanism might involve increased affinity of IL-6 with IL-6sR under surgical stress.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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