Pre-treatment serum levels of interleukin-10, interleukin-12 and their ratio predict response to therapy and probability of event-free and overall survival in childhood soft tissue sarcomas, Hodgkin's lymphomas and acute lymphoblastic leukemias

Clin Biochem. 2009 Jul;42(10-11):1144-57. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2009.04.004. Epub 2009 Apr 16.


Objectives: Deregulated serum IL-10, IL-12 and their reciprocal balance have been stated in malignancies of adults. In children with cancer the issue has not been investigated so far.

Design and methods: To determine the diagnostic and prognostic roles of pre-treatment serum levels of IL-10 (Th2 cytokine), IL-12 (Th1) and their ratios (measured by the IL-10 and IL-12p70 ELISA kits; Endogen) in 91 children with soft tissue sarcomas (STS), Hodgkin's lymphomas (HL) and acute lymphoblastic leukemias (ALL).

Results: Median IL-10 and IL-12 levels were significantly higher in cancer patients than in healthy controls. Increased IL-10 indicated presence of general symptoms in HL and high risk group in ALL. Elevated IL-10 and IL-10/IL-12 ratios and decreased IL-12 correlated with poor-risk histology in STS, poor response to therapy, relapse and death from cancer. Multivariate analysis identified IL-10/IL-12 ratio>0.14 and IL-12<40 pg/mL as significant predictors for shorter EFS and OS, respectively.

Conclusion: Pre-treatment serum levels of IL-10, IL-12 and IL-10/IL-12 balance in children with STS, HL and ALL may be of value as additional prognostic tools to predict the response to therapy and probability of EFS and OS.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blood Sedimentation
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Hodgkin Disease / blood*
  • Hodgkin Disease / diagnosis
  • Hodgkin Disease / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-10 / blood*
  • Interleukin-12 / blood*
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Male
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / blood
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / diagnosis
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / therapy*
  • Prognosis
  • Sarcoma / blood*
  • Sarcoma / diagnosis
  • Sarcoma / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Interleukin-10
  • Interleukin-12
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase