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Neuro Oncol. 2012 Mar;14(3):368-80. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/nor203. Epub 2011 Dec 12.

Cerebrospinal fluid interleukin-10 is a potentially useful biomarker in immunocompetent primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL).

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Department of Neurosurgery, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, 7-5-1, Kusunoki-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0017, Japan.


The diagnosis of primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) by radiographical examination is often difficult because of its similarity to other brain tumors. To test whether interleukin-10 (IL-10) and IL-6 can be used to distinguish PCNSL from other brain tumors that are radiographically similar, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of IL-10 and IL-6 were measured in 66 patients with intracranial tumors (PCNSLs: 26 cases; other brain tumors: 40 cases). In the patients with PCNSLs, the median CSF levels of IL-10 and IL-6 were 27 pg/mL and 5.4 pg/mL, respectively. The CSF IL-10 and IL-6 levels were significantly higher in PCNSLs than in the other brain tumors. To validate the diagnostic value of CSF IL-10 in PCNSL, we prospectively examined 24 patients with brain lesions that were suspected to be PCNSL. We observed that the CSF IL-10 levels were significantly higher in PCNSLs than in other brain tumors. At an IL-10 cutoff level of 9.5 pg/mL, the sensitivity and specificity were 71.0% and 100%, respectively. After therapy, the CSF IL-10 levels were decreased in all patients and were increased at relapse in most of these patients. Immunohistochemically, all PCNSLs, except for 1 unclassified PCNSL, expressed both IL-10 and IL-10 receptor-A. In the patients with high CSF IL-10, IL-10 expression levels in tumor were relatively higher, compared with low CSF IL-10; however, there was no significant difference between these groups. In addition, elevated CSF level of IL-10 was significantly associated with having a shorter progression-free survival (hazard ratio, 3.37; 95% confidence interval, 0.985-11.528; log-rank, P= .038). These results indicate that the CSF level of IL-10 may be a useful diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in patients with PCNSLs.

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