Serum IL-6, TNFalpha and CRP levels in Greek colorectal cancer patients: prognostic implications

World J Gastroenterol. 2005 Mar 21;11(11):1639-43. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v11.i11.1639.


Aim: The significance of preoperative serum IL-6, TNFalpha and CRP levels in the progression of colorectal cancer (CRC) has not been fully elucidated. Our intention was to investigate their role and identify their prognostic significance.

Methods: The IL-6, TNFalpha and CRP levels were measured in 74 CRC patients and the relationships between their elevations and both the clinicopathological factors and prognosis of patients were investigated. Serum concentrations of human IL-6 and TNFalpha were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). CRP was measured by an immunoturbinometric method.

Results: Median IL-6, TNFalpha and CRP levels were significantly higher in CRC patients than in normal controls. High levels of serum IL-6, TNFalpha and CRP were correlated with larger tumor size. Furthermore, high IL-6 and high CRP levels were associated with reduced overall survival.

Conclusion: Serum IL-6, TNFalpha and CRP levels definitely increase in CRC patients. Pre-operative serum elevation of IL-6 and CRP was thus found to be predictor of the prognosis of CRC patients. The clinical value of TNFalpha in CRC needs to be further investigated.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / blood*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / blood*
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers
  • Interleukin-6
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • C-Reactive Protein