Soluble interleukin-2 receptors (sIL-2R) in Hodgkin's disease: Outcome and clinical implications
The aim of this study was to assess the prognostic role of soluble interleukin-2 receptors (sIL-2R) in Hodgkin's disease (HD) both in the achievement of complete remission (CR) and in predicting disease relapse. Between August 1988 and June 1993 sIL-2R serum levels were measured in 174 untreated patients; in 137 of them evaluation was repeated at the end of treatment and in 132 also during the follow-up. Baseline sIL-2R levels (mean+/-standard error) were significantly higher in patients than in 65 healthy control subjects (1842+/-129 U ml(-1) vs 420+/-10 U ml(-10, P< 0.0001). At the end of treatment 135 out of 137 evaluated patients achieved complete response (CR) and their mean sIL-2R serum levels were significantly lower than those at diagnosis (635+/-19 U ml(-1) vs 1795+/-122 U ml(-1), P=0.0001). After a median follow-up of 5 years, sIL-2R remained low in 114 patients in continuous CR, while they increased in 9 out of 12 patients (75%) who relapsed. However, a temporary increase was also observed in six patients (5%) still in CR. Treatment outcome in terms of freedom from progression was linearly related to sIL-2R levels. Our study confirms that patients with untreated HD have increased baseline levels of sIL-2R compared with healthy subjects and that their pretreatment values may be an indication of disease outcome similar to other conventional prognostic factors, such as number of involved sites, presence of B symptoms and extranodal extent.