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01.03.2012 | Original Article | Ausgabe 3/2012

Annals of Hematology 3/2012

Circulating IL-17 levels during the peri-transplant period as a predictor for early leukemia relapse after myeloablative allogeneic stem cell transplantation

Annals of Hematology > Ausgabe 3/2012
Byung-Sik Cho, Ji-Young Lim, Seung-Ah Yahng, Sung-Eun Lee, Ki-Seong Eom, Yoo-Jin Kim, Nak-Gyun Chung, Dae-Chul Jeong, Seok Lee, Hee-Je Kim, Seok-Goo Cho, Dong-Wook Kim, Jong-Wook Lee, Woo-Sung Min, Chong-Won Park, Chang-Ki Min


IL-17 is involved in inducing and mediating pro-inflammatory responses. The association of IL-17 with tumor growth or graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) has become a subject of controversy. We hypothesized that serum IL-17 (sIL-17) levels during the peri-transplant period may affect alloreactive responses after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT). sIL-17 levels of 95 patients with leukemia who had undergone myeloablative allogeneic SCT were measured using ELISA before conditioning and on day 0, +7, and +14 after transplantation. With a median follow-up of 17 months, the overall survival, disease-free survival, non-relapse mortality, and relapse incidence were 70.9%, 66.3%, 10.3%, and 23.4%, respectively. Ten patients relapsed within 180 days (early relapse, 10.5%) post-transplant. The cumulative incidence of acute GVHD over grade II and chronic GVHD was 55.8% and 69.0%, respectively. Analyses using repeated measures of ANOVA and mean values of sIL-17 revealed that patients relapsed within 180 days had higher sIL-17 levels, whereas no association existed between sIL-17 levels and other clinical outcomes, including acute GVHD. Receiver operating characteristic curve analyses also revealed that sIL-17 levels were available for the prediction of early relapse and that patients with higher sIL-17 levels at each time point had a significantly higher early relapse. Multivariate analyses and subgroup analyses with only standard disease status suggest the association of sIL-17 levels with subsequent early relapse independent of disease status at transplantation. This study is the first one demonstrating the early change in sIL-17 during the peri-transplant period and the association with early relapse in humans.

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