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Tumour necrosis factor (TNF) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of cachexia in neoplastic and infectious diseases. In our study, the relationship between TNF and other cytokines in patients with malignancy was studied by measuring the serum levels of TNF, Interleukin-I (IL-1), Interleukin-2 (IL-2), and Interleukin-6 (IL-6). Eight patients with cancer had weight loss >10% of their body weight prior to starting anticancer therapy, and their weight loss was not attributable to gastrointestinal disorder, or other medical conditions. Seven patients with malignancy and no weight loss, as well as three normal donors without malignancy were also tested as controls. TNF, IL-1, IL-2 and IL-6 serum levels were determined using a quantitative ELISA test. Elevated levels of TNF, IL-1, IL-2 and IL-6 were detected in 25%, 12.5%, 12.5% and 50% of patients, respectively. In contrast, TNF levels were elevated in 28.5% of seven patients with cancer and no weight loss. In these patients, IL-1, IL-2 and IL-6 levels were undetectable. No TNF, IL-1, IL-2 or IL-6 could be detected in the sera of normal controls. Elevated cytokines serum levels, and especially IL-6, are detected in patients with cancer-cachexia. The determination of such cytokines may have a prognostic value.
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Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 1993

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  • The International Journal of Oncology provides an international forum for the publication of the latest, cutting-edge research in the broad area of oncology and cancer treatment. The journal accepts original high quality works and reviews on all aspects of oncology research including carcinogenesis, metastasis, epidemiology, chemotherapy and viral oncology. Through fair and efficient peer review, the journal is dedicated to publishing top tier research in the field, offering authors rapid publication as well as high standards of copy-editing and production. The International Journal of Oncology is published on a monthly basis in both print and early online.
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