Increased serum levels of interleukin-9 correlate to negative prognostic factors in Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Snick, J van
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Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) is characterised by an unbalanced cytokine secretion. Many of these cytokines have been implicated in the regulation of malignant and infiltrating cells. Interleukin-9 (IL-9) has been described to act in an autocrine fashion in HL, stimulating proliferation of the malignant cells. To investigate the potential clinical implication of this observation, a novel ELISA method was used to examine the serum levels of IL-9 in lymphoma patients. High levels of IL-9 were found in the sera from patients with HL (18/44), but not in the sera from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients (3/21) or healthy controls. The highest serum IL-9 levels, up to 3350 pg/ml, were observed in the nodular sclerosis subtype, and there was a correlation between IL-9 levels and the negative prognostic factors advanced stage, B-symptoms, low blood Hb and high erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Furthermore, there was no correlation between serum levels of IL-9 and IL-13, a cytokine where serum levels have been speculated to be of clinical importance. This is the first report showing that IL-9 can be measured in serum samples. A novel correlation between increased serum IL-9 levels, HL and clinical features is shown, suggesting that IL-9 is a candidate factor contributing to the development of HL.