Cytokine IL6, but not IL-1β, TNF-α and NF-κB is increased in paediatric cancer patients
Cytokines are responsible for maintaining homeostasis as cell growth, differentiation, migration and apoptosis mediators. They play a pivotal role in immune responses to inflammatory reactions. In oncological diseases, the cross-talk between cells of the immunological system and cells of the tumour microenvironment is led by cytokines. Also, the overproduction of cytokines may change the tumour microenvironment and stimulate tumour development and growth. To test whether pro-inflammatory cytokines or associated with them transcription factor levels are changed in a group of 53 paediatric cancer patients, serum levels of IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α and NF-κB were assessed and compared to measures in 25 healthy controls. Increased levels of IL-6 were found among patients in active oncological treatment (P=0.002) but not among patients whose treatment was completed. Our data suggest that IL6, but not IL-1β, TNF-α and NF-κB, is elevated as a result of the immune response in the microenvironment around the tumour and in blood cancers, among patients who were not infected at the time of blood collection. Thus, IL6 levels might serve as a potential biomarker of oncohematological diseases.
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