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Interleukin-6 predicts recurrence and survival among head and neck cancer patients†
Article first published online: 5 JUN 2008
Copyright © 2008 American Cancer Society
Volume 113, Issue 4, pages 750–757, 15 August 2008
How to Cite
Duffy, S. A., Taylor, J. M.G., Terrell, J. E., Islam, M., Li, Y., Fowler, K. E., Wolf, G. T. and Teknos, T. N. (2008), Interleukin-6 predicts recurrence and survival among head and neck cancer patients. Cancer, 113: 750–757. doi: 10.1002/cncr.23615
See editorial on pages 671–3, this issue.
- Issue published online: 1 AUG 2008
- Article first published online: 5 JUN 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 7 JAN 2008
- Manuscript Revised: 14 DEC 2007
- Manuscript Received: 9 OCT 2007
- U. S. National Institutes of Health through the University of Michigan's Head and Neck Specialized Program of Research Excellence. Grant Number: P50 CA97248
- head and neck neoplasms;
Increased pretreatment serum interleukin (IL)-6 levels among patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) have been shown to correlate with poor prognosis, but sample sizes in prior studies have been small and thus unable to control for other known prognostic variables.
A longitudinal, prospective cohort study determined the correlation between pretreatment serum IL-6 levels, and tumor recurrence and all-cause survival in a large population (N = 444) of previously untreated HNSCC patients. Control variables included age, sex, smoking, cancer site and stage, and comorbidities. Kaplan-Meier plots and univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were used to study the association between IL-6 levels, control variables, and time to recurrence and survival.
The median serum IL-6 level was 13 pg/mL (range, 0-453). The 2-year recurrence rate was 35.2% (standard error, 2.67%). The 2-year death rate was 26.5% (standard error, 2.26%). Multivariate analyses showed that serum IL-6 levels independently predicted recurrence at significant levels [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.32; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.11 to 1.58; P = .002] as did cancer site (oral/sinus). Serum IL-6 level was also a significant independent predictor of poor survival (HR = 1.22; 95% CI, 1.02 to 1.46; P = .03), as were older age, smoking, cancer site (oral/sinus), higher cancer stage, and comorbidities.
Pretreatment serum IL-6 could be a valuable biomarker for predicting recurrence and overall survival among HNSCC patients. Using IL-6 as a biomarker for recurrence and survival may allow for earlier identification and treatment of disease relapse. Cancer 2008. © 2008 American Cancer Society.