Chemokines play an important role in leukocyte mobilization, hematopoiesis, and angiogenesis. Tissue-specific expression of particular chemokines also influences tumor growth and metastasis. Here, the CC chemokine pulmonary and activation-regulated chemokine (PARC)/CCL18 was measured in pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) or acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Surprisingly, PARC immunoreactivity was consistently detected in plasma from healthy donors. After purification to homogeneity, the presence of intact PARC (1-69) and processed PARC (1-68) in normal human plasma was confirmed by sequence and mass spectrometry analysis. Furthermore, PARC serum levels were significantly increased in children with T-ALL and prepreB-ALL compared to control serum samples, whereas serum levels in AML and preB-ALL patients were not significantly different from controls. In contrast, the hemofiltrate CC chemokine-1 (HCC-1)/CCL14 was not found to be a biomarker in any of these patients' strata, whereas the cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) was significantly decreased in AML and prepreB-ALL. Stimulated leukocytic cell lines or lymphoblasts from patients produced IL-8/CXCL8 or macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha (MIP-1alpha/CCL3) but not PARC, not even after IL-4 or IL-10 treatment. However, PARC was produced by superantigen or IL-4 stimulated monocytes co-cultured with lymphocytes or lymphoblastic cells. Serum PARC levels thus constitute a novel leukemia marker, possibly reflecting tumor/host cell interactions in the circulation.