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Increased serum levels of soluble Fas in progressive B-CLL

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Abstract: Clinical progression of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL) depends on survival and accumulation of leukemic cells, regulated in part by physical cell contact and soluble molecules. Here we have studied the Fas/FasL system in relation to clinical progression in B-CLL. Serum levels of soluble Fas (sFas) and FasL (sFasL) were determined by ELISA in 43 progressive and 40 non-progressive B-CLL patients and in 21 control individuals. Correlation between sFas serum levels and clinical progression, stage and survival were statistically analyzed. We found high levels of sFas in B-CLL sera correlated with disease progression (p<0.01). In addition, higher sFas levels were found in patients in stages II, III and IV in comparison to patients in stage 0 (p<0.05, p<0.01, p<0.03, respectively). Survival was significantly shorter for patients with 6 ng/ml sFas serum levels, although a multivariate analysis did not show sFas to be a significant independent prognostic factor. Fresh B-CLL cells showed only low levels of membrane expression, which were not correlated to sFas levels in serum. In vitro activation of B-CLL cells increased Fas expression, as reported earlier, and induced cells to release sFas into the supernatant. In conclusion, our results indicate that sFas in serum may be a useful parameter for the prediction of clinical progression in B-CLL.
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Keywords: B-CLL; Fas; apoptosis; progression

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Microbiology and Tumor Biology Center, Karolinska Institute, 2: Department of Hematology, Center for Molecular Medicine and 3: Medical and Biological Laboratories Co., Ina Research Laboratories, Nagano, Japan 4: Department of Oncology, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden, and

Publication date: May 1, 2001

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