An exploratory study of inflammatory cytokines as prognostic biomarkers in patients with ductal pancreatic adenocarcinoma

Pancreas. 2012 Oct;41(7):1001-7. doi: 10.1097/MPA.0b013e3182546e13.


Objectives: We measured the serum concentration of a panel of inflammatory cytokines and evaluated their association with circulating proangiogenic biomarkers and with outcome in patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC).

Methods: We collected serum samples from 36 patients with PDAC, 9 patients with chronic pancreatitis, and 22 healthy volunteers as a control. Inflammatory cytokines and proangiogenic biomarkers were measured using the multianalyte xMAP array and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and carbohydrate 19-9 by immunoassay.

Results: Patients with PDAC had higher circulating levels of interleukin 6 (IL-6) than those of patients with pancreatitis or healthy individuals and higher levels of IL-10 and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) compared with those of healthy individuals. In patients with PDAC, circulating IL-6, TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-10 correlated with serum concentrations of vascular endothelial growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor; circulating IL-6, IL-1β, and TNF-α correlated with carbohydrate 19-9; and IL-8, IL-10, and TNF-α correlated with CEA levels. Circulating IL-8, TNF-α, and CEA; tumor stage; and lymph node metastases were associated with a poor outcome.

Conclusions: The results of this exploratory study indicate that inflammatory cytokines should be pursued as potential prognostic biomarkers as well as targets for therapy in larger studies in PDAC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • CA-19-9 Antigen / blood
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen / blood
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / blood*
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / surgery
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Female
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 / blood
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-10 / blood
  • Interleukin-1beta / blood
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Macrophages / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / blood*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Prognosis
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / blood


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CA-19-9 Antigen
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen
  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Interleukin-6
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2
  • Interleukin-10