The aim was to investigate the systemic levels of cytokines and the expression of the chemokine receptor CXCR2 in circulating neutrophils in patients with non-neoplastic ovarian lesions, benign neoplasia or malignant neoplasia.
Controls and patients with ovarian tumors were pre-operatively compared for the production of cytokines (IL-2, IL-5, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10 and TNF-α) by ELISA, and for the expression of the chemokine receptor, CXCR2, in neutrophils, by flow cytometry. Randomly selected patients within the malignant group were re-evaluated for the inflammatory parameters at 30 days after surgery.
The serum concentrations of IL-6, IL-8 and IL-10 were significantly higher in the benign and malignant neoplasia than in the control group, and their levels were significantly higher in ovarian cancer patients than in patients with non-neoplastic tumors or benign neoplasia. Treatment reduced IL-8 serum levels but did not affect CXCR2 expression in neutrophils. Cutoff values for IL-6, IL-8, and IL-10 comparing malignant vs. benign neoplasia were 11.3, 71.7, 14.8, and comparing malignant neoplasm vs. non-neoplastic lesions were 7.2, 43.5, 12.3, respectively.
Serum IL-6, IL-8, and IL-10 levels, and expression of CXCR2 in circulating neutrophils seem promising for distinguishing ovarian cancer patients from patients with benign tumors.