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Hematol Oncol. 1991 Nov-Dec;9(6):307-13.

Increased levels of circulating interleukin-6 in patients with Hodgkin's disease.

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Medizinische Klinik I, University of the Saarland, Homburg/Saar, Germany.


Expression of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and IL-6 receptors has been demonstrated in Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg (H and RS) cells in vitro and in vivo. In order to evaluate the clinical significance of IL-6 serum levels in patients with Hodgkin's disease (HD), we tested the sera of 56 untreated patients with HD by means of a sensitive sandwich ELISA. While IL-6 was only rarely detectable in healthy controls or patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, 32 of 56 patients (57 per cent) had detectable IL-6 levels (range 12-32 pg/ml). The rates of detectable IL-6 levels and the median levels were not correlated with age, sex, histological subtype, stage or the presence of B-symptoms, nor with any of a wide spectrum of laboratory parameters tested, including erythrocyte sedimentation rate, total leukocyte and lymphocyte counts, serum levels of soluble CD8, CD25 or CD30. The rates of complete remissions and freedom from treatment failure were not different in IL-6-negative and IL-6-positive patients. Except in one of 23 follow-up sera taken after therapy, IL-6 was no longer detectable even for patients who suffered from progressing disease, suggesting that the neoplastic H and RS cells are not the major source of circulating IL-6.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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