Interleukin-6 and acute-phase proteins in head and neck cancer

O. Gallo, A. M. Gori, M. Attanasio, F. Martini, B. Giusti, T. Brunelli, E. Gallina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The acute-phase response is the answer of the organism to a disturbance of its homeostasis and is characterized by dramatic changes in the concentration of some plasma proteins defined as acute-phase proteins. In recent years several data have shown that interleukin-6 (IL-6) is the major inducer of acute-phase protein synthesis in human hepatocytes. Recently, we demonstrated higher IL-6 serum levels in head and neck cancer (HNC) patients than in healthy subjects. In the present study we examined the relationship between levels of IL-6 and of several acute-phase proteins, including C-reactive protein (CRP), α1-antitrypsin (AAT), αl-acid glycoprotein (AAG), haptoglobin (HPT) and fibrinogen. Eighteen patients were studied and had squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx (n = 9), oral cavity (n = 4), oropharynx (n = 3) and hypopharynx (n = 2). Proteins were measured at three time points before and three time points after surgery. Significant (P <0.0001) relationships were found between IL-6 and CRP (r = 0.69), and fibrinogen (r = 0.51), whereas no correlation was found with AAT (r = 0.13, P = 0.56), AAG (r = 0.38; P = 0.07) and HPT (r = 0.16; P = 0.46). These data strongly suggest that IL-6 may play a key role in acute-phase protein synthesis in HNC and in regulation of the complex host response to malignancies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-162
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1995


  • Acute-phase response
  • C-reactive protein
  • Fibrinogen
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Interleukin-6

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'Interleukin-6 and acute-phase proteins in head and neck cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this