Levels of Soluble Interleukin-2 Receptor-Alpha Are Elevated in Serum and Ascitic Fluid From Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Patients

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of the study was to determine whether ovarian cancer patients have activated lymphocytes as indicated by the presence of soluble interleukin-2 receptor-alpha and to compare soluble interleukin-2 receptor-alpha with other markers in ovarian cancer.

STUDY DESIGN

Ascites and serum from patients with advanced active ovarian cancer was tested for the presence of elevated levels of soluble interleukin-2 receptor-alpha and compared with normal controls. Levels of soluble interleukin-2 receptor-alpha were also compared with levels of CA 125 and macrophage colony-stimulating factor in the same patients, to evaluate the correlation between different markers.

RESULTS

Elevated levels of soluble interleukin-2 receptor-alpha were detected in 86 of 86 (100%) ascites samples and 67 of 85 (79%) serum samples from patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer. In contrast, only 12 of 25 (48%) benign ascites samples and one of 88 (1%) serum samples from controls had elevated levels. There was no obvious correlation between levels of soluble interleukin-2 receptor-alpha and levels of CA 125; however, levels of soluble interleukin-2 receptor-alpha did correlate with levels of macrophage colony-stimulating factor. Concurrent measurement of serum-soluble interleukin-2alpha and CA 125 levels detected 100% of patients with epithelial ovarian cancer.

CONCLUSION

The detection of elevated levels of soluble interleukin-2 receptor-alpha in serum and ascites indicates the presence of activated lymphocytes in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer. Ascites and serum levels of soluble interleukin-2 receptor-alpha are elevated in patients with advanced ovarian cancer and warrant assessment as a potential complementary marker to CA 125 for early detection of ovarian cancer and management of patients with advanced ovarian cancer. (AM J OBSTET GYNECOL 1994;170:918-28.)

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