Serum tumor markers in non-Hodgkin's lymphomas and chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Int J Biol Markers. Jan-Mar 1993;8(1):14-20.


The levels of soluble interleukin-2 receptors (sIL-2R), beta-2 microglobulin (beta-2M), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured in the serum of 50 previously untreated patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) as well as in 25 age and sex-matched normal controls. Compared to normal controls, mean serum levels of sIL-2R and beta-2M were significantly increased in both NHL and CLL (p < 0.001) while the increase in ESR and CRP was less marked (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05, respectively). Comparison of these tumor markers with histologic grading showed statistically significant differences only for CRP between low, intermediate and high-grade lymphomas (p < 0.001 and p < 0.05). More advanced stages exhibited higher mean values of all serum markers than early stages (p < 0.001 for sIL-2R, beta-2M and ESR and p < 0.05 for CRP). An association with the presence of b-symptoms was observed only for sIL-2R (p < 0.05). In addition, sIL-2R as well as beta-2M were able to predict time to progression in patients with diffuse large-cell lymphomas. We conclude that of the four tumor markers tested sIL-2R and beta-2M more frequently showed increased serum levels and were associated with clinical stage and/or presence of b-symptoms. Both sIL-2R and beta-2M were also found to have prognostic significance for survival.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Blood Sedimentation*
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / blood*
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / mortality
  • Life Tables
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / blood*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / mortality
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Proteins / blood*
  • Prognosis
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / analysis*
  • Survival Analysis
  • beta 2-Microglobulin / analysis*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • beta 2-Microglobulin
  • C-Reactive Protein