Prognostic and clinical implication of IL-6 expression in glioblastoma multiforme

J Clin Neurosci. 2005 Nov;12(8):930-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2004.11.017.


Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is frequently produced in gliomas and has been implicated as a mediator of growth control in several human neoplasms. In this study, IL-6 expression was examined in 11 surgically resected glioblastomas and a cell line U87MG by immunohistochemical staining and quantitative real-time RT-PCR. The relationships between IL-6 expression level and clinical presentation, survival, imaging findings, age and preoperative Karnofsky performance status were analyzed. The median survival times were 16 months in patients with negative IL-6 expression and 7 months in those with positive IL-6 expression (P = 0.075). Three of these patients with a relatively longer survival time (> 1 year) did not express IL-6 in the tumor. Relatively more severe peri-focal edema on imaging was also noted in the glioblastomas with IL-6 expression. IL-6 was also found in the cytoplasm of endothelial cells of newly formed vessels and infiltrating inflammatory cells. These preliminary results implicate IL-6 expression as a possible prognostic indicator in glioblastoma. This cytokine may also play a role in tissue edema, angiogenesis and inflammation of this tumor, but whether IL-6 expression promotes malignancy is uncertain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Brain Neoplasms / mortality
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Gene Expression
  • Glioblastoma / metabolism*
  • Glioblastoma / mortality
  • Glioblastoma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Interleukin-6 / biosynthesis*
  • Ki-67 Antigen / biosynthesis
  • Prognosis
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Interleukin-6
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • RNA, Messenger