Prognostic value of serum interleukin-6 in diffuse large-cell lymphoma

Ann Intern Med. 1997 Aug 1;127(3):186-94. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-127-3-199708010-00002.

Abstract

Background: Interleukin-6 has important lymphoid bioregulatory effects, and serum levels of interleukin-6 are often elevated in patients with lymphoma.

Objective: To determine the relation between serum levels of interleukin-6 before treatment and outcome in patients with diffuse large-cell lymphoma.

Design: Retrospective cohort analysis with multivariate analysis.

Setting: Tertiary referral center.

Participants: 118 untreated patients with diffuse large-cell lymphoma who were enrolled in frontline chemotherapy protocols and 45 healthy controls.

Measurements: Serum levels of interleukin-6 were measured by using a sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Levels below the upper limit of the range for controls were considered normal. Outcomes were complete response, failure-free survival, and overall survival.

Results: Serum levels of interleukin-6 were higher in patients with lymphoma (median, 4.6 pg/ml [range, undetectable to 224 pg/mL]) than in controls (median, undetectable [range, undetectable to 4.3 pg/mL]) (P = 0.009). The complete response rate was 95% for persons with normal interleukin-6 levels and 55% for persons with high interleukin-6 levels (P = 0.001). Patients with high interleukin-6 levels had inferior failure-free and overall survival rates (P < 0.001 for both comparisons). The actuarial 4-year failure-free and overall survival rates were 72% and 85%, respectively, for persons with normal interleukin-6 levels and 37% and 46%, respectively, for persons with high interleukin-6 levels. In multivariate analysis, interleukin-6 was selected as the most significant predictor of complete response and failure-free survival. Failure-free and overall survival of patients stratified according to International Prognostic Index score could be further stratified by interleukin-6 level (P < or = 0.03 for all comparisons).

Conclusion: In patients with diffuse large-cell lymphoma, serum interleukin-6 levels are an independent prognostic factor for complete response and failure-free survival.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / blood*
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / blood*
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / drug therapy
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome

Substances

  • Interleukin-6