Reikvam, Håkon; Mosevoll, Knut Anders; Melve, Guro Kristin; Günther, Clara-Cecilie; Sjo, Malvin; Bentsen, Pål Tore; Bruserud, Øystein
Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, vol. 18, p. 190–199, 2012
Cytokines play a key role in regulation of normal and malignant hematopoiesis, angiogenesis, and inflammation. Serum levels of several cytokines are altered in patients with hematologic malignancies, and pretransplant cytokine levels seem to have a prognostic impact in patients treated with allogeneic stem cell transplantation. However, the cytokine system constitutes an interacting functional network, and it may therefore be more relevant to look at serum cytokine profiles rather than the serum levels of single cytokines in allotransplanted patients. We therefore investigated the pretransplantation serum levels of 35 cytokines in a group of 44 consecutive allogeneic stem cell transplantation patients, mainly with a primary diagnosis of acute leukemia. Serum samples were collected before the start of myeloablative conditioning therapy when all patients were in complete hematologic remission. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering analysis identified three major patient groups/subsets. These groups differed especially in the levels of hepatocyte growth factor and granulocyte-colony stimulating factor, and one of the groups was characterized by low early treatment-related morbidity and high levels of hepatocyte growth factor and granulocyte-colony stimulating factor. The degree of weight gain/fluid retention after conditioning therapy did not differ between the patient subsets, but fluid retention showed a significant correlation with pretransplantation serum levels of basic fibroblast growth factor. We conclude that the pretransplantation serum cytokine profile shows a considerable variation even between patients in complete hematologic remission and is associated with clinicopathologic features.