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Ann Hematol. 2012 Apr;91(4):605-11. doi: 10.1007/s00277-011-1339-4.

Evaluation of circulating soluble triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-1 (sTREM-1) to predict risk profile, response to antimicrobial therapy, and development of complications in patients with chemotherapy-associated febrile neutropenia: a pilot study.

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Medical Research Council Unit for Inflammation and Immunity, Department of Immunology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria and Tshwane Academic Division of National Health Laboratory Service, Pretoria, South Africa.


The soluble triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 1 (sTREM-1) is a useful marker of infection in patients with sepsis, but has not been adequately evaluated in patients with chemotherapy-associated febrile neutropenia (FN). The value of sTREM-1 in this setting has been tested in a retrospective, pilot study using stored serum from 48 cancer patients with documented FN. On presentation, patients were categorized according to the Talcott risk-index clinical score. Circulating soluble sTREM-1 was measured using an ELISA procedure, while procalcitonin (PCT) or interleukins 6 (IL-6) and 8 (IL-8), included for comparison, were measured using an immunoluminescence-based assay and Bio-Plex® suspension bead array system, respectively. Circulating concentrations of both sTREM-1 and PCT were significantly (P < 0.05) elevated in patients at high risk for complications or death, as predicted by the Talcott score and were significantly lower in patients who responded to empiric antimicrobial agents. Neither IL-6 nor IL-8 accurately predicted serious complications in patients with FN. These observations, albeit from a pilot study, demonstrate that sTREM-1 is indeed elevated in high-risk patients with FN and is potentially useful to predict their clinical course, either together with, or as an alternative to PCT.

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