Serum IL-33 as a Diagnostic and Prognostic Marker in Non-small Cell Lung Cancer

  • Hu, Liang-An (Department of Respiratory Diseases, First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University) ;
  • Fu, Yu (Department of Respiratory Diseases, First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University) ;
  • Zhang, Dan-Ni (Department of Respiratory Diseases, First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University) ;
  • Zhang, Jie (Department of Respiratory Diseases, First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University)
  • Published : 2013.04.30


Background: Interleukin-33 (IL-33) has recently been implicated in tumor immunity. The aim of this study was to explore the clinical role of serum IL-33 in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Methods: Sera collected from 250 healthy volunteers (HV), 256 patients with benign lung diseases (BLD) and 262 NSCLC cases were subjected to IL-33 ELISA and relationships between serum IL-33 and clinical characteristics were evaluated. Results: Circulating IL-33 levels were higher in the NSCLC group in comparison with the HV and BLD groups (p<0.001). Using a cut-off level 68 pg/ml (95% specificity in the HV group), IL-33 showed a good diagnostic performance for NSCLC. Multivariate survival analysis indicated that serum IL-33 was an independent prognostic factor in the entire NSCLC group [hazards ratio (HR) = 0.64 for low versus high IL-33 levels, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.50-0.82; p<0.001] and in 165 selected patients with locally advanced or metastatic disease receiving chemoradiotherapy or chemotherapy (HR 0.70, 95% CI 0.52-0.94; p=0.013). Conclusions: IL-33 is a promising potential diagnostic and prognostic marker in NSCLC, independent of the therapeutic intervention.


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