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Cytokine. 2007 Aug;39(2):99-105. Epub 2007 Aug 13.

Comparative analysis of peripheral and localised cytokine secretion in glioblastoma patients.

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Laboratory of Biological Chemistry, University of Athens Medical School, M. Asias 75, Goudi 11527, Athens, Greece.



Malignant gliomas are the most common primary brain tumours of both children and adults. The unique aspects of their biology and anatomic site render them refractory to conventional therapeutic strategies such as surgery and chemotherapy. Significant attention has been given, recently, to immunotherapy which, although promising in preclinical studies, has not yet enhanced the survival of patients with glioblastomas.


To further understand the immunobiology of glioblastomas in clinical settings, we examined the secretion of four main cytokines in the peripheral blood and in primary cell cultures of 33 human glioblastoma patients. An ELISPOT methodology was used for the first time to examine Th1, and Th2 cytokine secretion from both peripheral lymphocytes and glioma tumour cells.


Th1 cytokines (tumour necrosis factor (TNF-alpha), interferon (IFN-gamma) were markedly reduced compared to control levels (P=0.01 and P<0.001, respectively), whereas in contrast, Th2 (interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-10) were strongly expressed in both peripheral lymphocytes and glioma cell cultures (P=0.05 and P<0.001, respectively).


This pattern indicates an 'immunosuppressive status' in glioblastomas which is related to their origination and the evasion of glioma cells from immune surveillance and could account for the failure of immunotherapy in such tumours. Furthermore, ELISPOT methodology can be used for monitoring of cytokine secretion from tumour cells, in addition to the well-established peripheral cytokine secretion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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