Significant correlation between expression of interleukin-1α and liver metastasis in gastric carcinoma




Interleukin (IL)-1 has been reported to augment the hematogeneous metastasis of some cancers by inducing the expression of adhesion molecules on vascular endothelial cells and also increasing the expression of proteases from tumor cells in vitro. The purpose of this study was to determine the clinical significance of the IL-1α expression in primary tumors of gastric carcinoma.


Paraffin embedded sections of the tumors obtained from 109 patients who underwent a gastrectomy for gastric carcinoma with subserosal invasion were stained for IL-1α by using the streptavidin biotin method. Staining was considered positive when 10% or more of the malignant cells displayed cytoplasmic staining.


Sixty (55.0%) tumors expressed IL-1α. Positive staining for IL-1α was more likely in patients with differentiated tumors than in those with undifferentiated tumors. The expression of IL-1α showed a significant correlation with liver metastasis. Of the 84 patients receiving a curative resection, those with tumors expressing IL-1α had a significantly higher incidence of liver recurrence than those without. A logistic regression analysis revealed positive staining for IL-1α to be the best predictive factor of patients who develop liver recurrence.


The authors' results suggest that the immunohistochemical expression of IL-1α is a useful predictor of liver recurrence in patients undergoing a curative resection for gastric carcinoma with subserosal invasion. Cancer 2001;91:1272–6. © 2001 American Cancer Society.