INTRODUCTION: PGE-2 is constitutively produced by many non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) and its immunosuppressive effects have been linked to altered immune responses in lung cancer. We asked whether elevated levels of plasma PGE-2 correlated with monocyte IL10 production in the NSCLC environment. Looking for correlation in NSCLC patient blood we assayed plasma from NSCLC patients for PGE2 and IL10; we further evaluated production of IL10 by adherent mononuclear cells from a subset of these patients looking for an altered cytokine profile.

RESULTS: Our initial in vitro experiments show that monocyte IL10 induction correlates with tumor cell PGE-2 production, confirming similar reports in the literature. Data show plasma PGE-2 levels in 38 NSCLC patients are elevated compared to normal controls. Plasma IL10 levels were not significantly elevated; however, adherent monocytes derived from NSCLC patient blood did produce significantly more IL10 in 24 hr primary culture than those from normal controls (p < 0.01). The association of elevated plasma PGE-2 and monocyte derived IL-10 was not significant.

CONCLUSIONS: Elevated plasma PGE-2 and monocyte IL10 production are associated with NSCLC. The biological significance to elevated PGE-2 levels in NSCLC are unclear. Further investigation of each as a nonspecific marker for NSCLC tumor is warranted.

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Published in Molecular Cancer, v. 1, 5.

© 2002 Hidalgo et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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