Serum cytokine profiles and metabolic tumor burden in patients with non-small cell lung cancer undergoing palliative thoracic radiation therapy
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAdvances in Radiation Oncology. 2018, 3 (2), 130-138. 10.1016/j.adro.2017.12.007
Purpose: Radiation therapy effectively kills cancer cells and elicits local effects in the irradiated tissue. The aim of this study was to investigate the kinetics of cytokines in the serum of patients with lung cancer undergoing radiation therapy and to identify associations with metabolic tumor burden as determined by 2-deoxy-2-fluoro-D-glucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET). Methods and materials: Forty-five patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer were included in a phase 2 clinical trial and randomized between fractionated thoracic radiation therapy alone or concurrent with an epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor. Blood was sampled at 4 different time points: prior to treatment, midtherapy, at the end of therapy, and 6 to 8 weeks after the start of treatment. The serum concentrations of 48 cytokines and 9 matrix metalloproteinases were measured with multiplex immunoassays. A subset of patients was examined by 18F-FDG PET/computed tomography before, during, and after radiation therapy. The maximum standardized uptake values (SUVmax) of the primary lung tumor, whole-body metabolic tumor volume, and total lesion glycolysis were calculated, and correlations between the PET parameters and cytokines were investigated. Results: The SUVmax decreased from baseline through midtherapy to posttherapy 18F-FDG PET/computed tomography (P = .018). The serum levels of C-C motif chemokine ligand (CCL) 23, CCL24, C-X3-C motif chemokine ligand 1, and interleukin-8 (C-X-C motif ligand [CXCL]8) were significantly correlated to SUVmax, metabolic tumor volume, and total lesion glycolysis before, during, and after radiation therapy. CXCL2 (P = .030) and CXCL6 (P = .010) decreased after the start of therapy and changed significantly across the sample time points. Serum concentrations of CCL15 (P = .031), CXCL2 (P = .028), and interleukin-6 (P = .007) were positively correlated to the irradiated volume during the second week of treatment. Conclusions: Cytokine serum levels vary and correlate with metabolic tumor burden in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer undergoing palliative thoracic radiation therapy.