Serum cytokines in follicular lymphoma. Correlation of TGF-β and VEGF with survival

Ann Hematol. 2010 Jan;89(1):25-33. doi: 10.1007/s00277-009-0777-8. Epub 2009 Jul 7.


The prognosis of follicular lymphoma could vary with the tumor immune microenvironment. We evaluated the prognostic value of serum levels of ten cytokines. Our study cohort included 60 follicular lymphoma patients and 20 controls. Serum was available at diagnosis in 31 patients, at first relapse in 18, and complete remission in 11. Bioplex technology was used for determination of nine cytokines [interleukin (IL)-1Ra, IL-6, IL-7, IL-10, IL-13, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), and basic fibroblast growth factor (b-FGF)]. Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) was measured by sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. IL-1Ra, IL-6, IL-7, IL-10, IL-13, TNF-α, VEGF, and PDGF levels were found increased in follicular lymphoma patients compared to controls. Multivariate analysis identified early stage and high TGF-β levels as independent predictors of overall survival associated with improved outcome. High lactate dehydrogenase and VEGF levels were independently associated with poorer progression-free survival. These results show the prognostic value of TGF-β and VEGF in follicular lymphoma and suggest their contribution to tumor microenvironment alterations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Follicular / blood*
  • Lymphoma, Follicular / mortality*
  • Lymphoma, Follicular / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / blood*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • VEGFA protein, human
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A