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Soluble interleukin-2 receptor and soluble CD8 antigen levels in serum from patients with solid tumors.

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High levels of soluble lymphocyte antigens have been described in a large number of tumors and, particularly, in hematopoietic neoplasms. As previously reported, many antitumor immune responses are IL-2 dependent: clinical observations indicate that a worse survival in advanced tumor patients is related with a decrease of soluble IL-2 levels. A soluble form of CD8 has been described: as found in Hodgkin's disease and acute lymphoblastic leukemia, sCD8 levels have a prognostic value. To explain the significance of these soluble molecules in solid tumors, we a) determinated sIL-2R and sCD8 in 84 patients; b) correlated the expression of p55 chain of IL-2R and CD8 antigen on the cell-surface of peripheral lymphocytes to sIL-2R and sCD8 levels; c) analyzed endogenous IL-2R levels in patients with lung cancer. An increase of sIL-2R was found in 82% of cases, while high levels of sCD8 were observed in 32%; no correlation was observed between sIL-2R and the expression of p55 on the surface of peripheral lymphocytes: IL-2 levels in patients with NSCLC were significatively reduced, when compared to healthy controls, with an inverse relationship between endogenous IL-2 concentration and sIL-2R levels. Whatever may be the physiopathological mechanism of the increase of sIL-2 observed in solid tumors, this rise may contribute to the immunodepression correlated to neoplastic disease. Therefore, higher levels of sIL-2R/IL-2 ratio has a negative biologic prognostic significance. We think that determinating CD8 antigen in the serum can offer a more sensitive and specific measurement of activation of suppressor/cytotoxic T-lymphocytes.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Internal and Experimental Medicine, II University School of Medicine of Naples, Naples, Italy.

Publication date: January 1, 1998

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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