Background: Paclitaxel has been described to induce interleukin-8 (IL-8) transcription and secretion in human ovarian carcinoma cells. The objective of this study was to investigate possible clinical implications of the effect of paclitaxel on IL-8 serum levels in patients suffering from ovarian carcinoma.
Methods: Thirty-one patients with ovarian carcinoma who were treated with combination chemotherapy consisting of paclitaxel and carboplatin entered the study. IL-8 serum levels and CA 125 serum levels were detected three times for each patient directly before chemotherapy, after three cycles of chemotherapy, and after six cycles of chemotherapy. In addition, serum samples from 59 healthy, age-matched women were obtained. A quantitative human IL-8 immunoassay was used to determine the IL-8 serum levels.
Results: Seventy-eight percent of patients responded to chemotherapy, with 61% achieving a complete response and 16% achieving a partial response. The median IL-8 serum level before chemotherapy was 75 pg/mL (range, 2.7-903.3 pg/mL), the level during chemotherapy was 23.75 pg/mL (range, 0.5-248.2 pg/mL), and the level after chemotherapy was 17.65 pg/mL (range, 0.6-377.0 pg/mL). The median IL-8 serum level in controls was 15.6 pg/mL (range, 1.4-106.3 pg/mL). The authors found a statistically significant decrease in both IL-8 serum levels (P < 0.05 and P < 0.05) and CA 125 serum levels (P < 0.05 and P < 0.05) from the first to the second measurement and from the first to the third measurement, respectively. They found no correlation between the shifts of IL-8 serum levels and CA 125 serum levels during chemotherapy.
Conclusions: The authors found a significant decrease in IL-8 serum levels in patients undergoing a paclitaxel-containing chemotherapy regimen, indicating that IL-8 possibly acts as a useful monitoring marker in patients with ovarian carcinoma.