It has been reported that interferon-γ (IFN-γ)–induced inflammatory markers, such as circulating neopterin and kynurenine-to-tryptophan ratio (KTR), are increased in patients with cancer and are also a predictor of poor prognosis. However, whether baseline levels of these makers are associated with subsequent cancer risk in the general population remains unknown.
We conducted a prospective analysis of the Hordaland Health Study in 6594 adults without known cancer at baseline who were enrolled between April 1998 and June 1999. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression models adjusted for sex, age, body mass index, smoking status, and renal function.
A total of 971 incident cancer cases (507 men and 464 women) were identified over a median follow-up time of 12 years. Baseline plasma neopterin, KTR and C-reactive protein (CRP) were significantly associated with an increased risk of overall cancer in models adjusted for covariates (P for trend across quartiles = .006 for neopterin, .022 for KTR, and .005 for CRP). The multivariate-adjusted HR (95% CI) per SD increment in similar models were 1.09 (1.03-1.16) for neopterin, 1.07 (1.01-1.14) for KTR, and 1.04 (0.98-1.10) for CRP. The associations between the inflammatory markers and risk of major specific cancer types were also provided.
Our findings indicate that plasma neopterin, KTR, and CRP are associated with a significantly increased risk of overall cancer. Our study revealed novel evidence regarding the role of IFN-γ–induced inflammation in human carcinogenesis. Cancer 2014;120:3370–3377. © 2014 The Authors. Cancer published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Cancer Society.