Inflammatory biomarkers, geriatric assessment, and treatment outcomes in acute myeloid leukemia

J Geriatr Oncol. 2020 Apr;11(3):410-416. doi: 10.1016/j.jgo.2019.03.014. Epub 2019 Apr 5.


Objectives: To investigate changes in inflammatory biomarkers during induction therapy for older adults with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and their associations with geriatric assessment (GA) measures and outcomes.

Methods: This was a single institution ancillary study to a prospective observational study (N = 20 consecutive adults aged ≥60 with newly diagnosed AML who received induction chemotherapy). Biomarkers (Interleukin-6 [IL-6], IL-6 soluble receptor [IL-6 sR], tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNFα], TNFα soluble receptor 1 [TNFα sR1], interleukin-3 [IL-3], C-reactive protein [CRP]) were collected at start of induction, weekly for three weeks, and post-induction and were compared over time using paired t-tests. GA was administered at baseline and post-induction, and correlated with biomarker levels using Spearman correlations. Survival was estimated using Kaplan-Meier and compared by categorized biomarker level using Wilcoxon tests.

Results: Biomarker levels were stable during induction, except for CRP and IL-6 sR. Declines in objectively measured physical function [Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB); r = 0.71, p < 0.01] and increases in self-reported limitation in instrumental activities of daily living (r = 0.81, p < 0.01) were correlated with increased TNFα sR1. Declines in SPPB were correlated with increased CRP (r = -0.73, p < 0.01). Improvement in depression was correlated with increased IL-6 sR (r = -0.59 p = 0.02). Survival was shorter in those with baseline TNFα or CRP levels above the median (6.1 vs. 40.2 months and 5.5 vs. 27.6 months respectively, p = 0.04 for both).

Conclusion: Among older adults with AML, the relationships between TNFα sR1, CRP, and IL-6 sR with change in physical and emotional health during treatment warrants further investigation.

Keywords: Acute myeloid leukemia; Biomarkers; Geriatric assessment; Inflammation; Older adults.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute* / drug therapy
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers
  • C-Reactive Protein