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Prognostic and clinicopathological significance of serum interleukin-6 expression in colorectal cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Authors Wang Z, Wu P, Wu D, Zhang Z, Hu G, Zhao S, Lai Y, Huang J

Received 29 July 2015

Accepted for publication 30 October 2015

Published 16 December 2015 Volume 2015:8 Pages 3793—3801


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Daniele Santini

Zhen Wang,1 Pin Wu,1,2 Dang Wu,1 Zhigang Zhang,3 Guoming Hu,1 Shuai Zhao,1 Yucheng Lai,1 Jian Huang1,4

1Cancer Institute, Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Intervention, Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Medical Sciences, China National Ministry of Education, 2Department of Thoracic Surgery, 3Department of Gynecology, 4Department of Surgical Oncology, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, People’s Republic of China

Purpose: Interleukin-6 (IL-6) plays an important role in human colorectal cancer (CRC) development. However, the exact clinical and prognostic significance of IL-6 in CRC is still unclear. Here, we conducted this meta-analysis to explore this issue in detail.
Methods: A meta-analysis was performed to clarify the association between serum IL-6 expression and clinical outcomes in articles published up to June 2015. Weighted mean difference (WMD) and its corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI) were used to assess the association between serum IL-6 expression and the clinicopathological characteristics of CRC. Hazard ratio (HR) with 95% CI was used to quantify the predictive value of IL-6 on CRC prognosis.
Results: Fourteen studies comprising 1,245 patients were included. Analysis of these data showed that serum IL-6 expression was highly correlated with poor 5-year overall survival (OS) rate (HR =0.43, 95% CI: 0.31–0.59, P=0.755). Simultaneously, we also found that serum IL-6 expression was associated with certain clinical parameters of CRC, such as tumor invasion (T category: T0–T2, T3–T4) (WMD =3.15, 95% CI: 1.92–4.39, P=0.816), distant metastasis (M category: M0, M1) (WMD =4.69, 95% CI: 3.33–6.06, P=0.377), and tumor stage (I–II, III–IV) (WMD =2.65, 95% CI: 1.09–4.21, P=0.066).
Conclusion: A high serum IL-6 expression is associated with adverse OS in CRC. The IL-6 expression can be an important supplement in establishing prognostic score for clinical decision.

Keywords: interleukin-6, colorectal cancer, prognosis, meta-analysis

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