Soluble interleukin-2 receptor in stage I-III melanoma

Alessandro Ottaiano, Enrico Leonardi, Ester Simeone, Paolo Antonio Ascierto, Stefania Scala, Rosa Calemma, Jane Bryce, Corrado Caracò, Rocco A. Satriano, Nicoletti Gianfranco, Renato Franco, Gerardo Botti, Giuseppe Castello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the present study was to assess the prognostic value of soluble interleukin-2 receptor (sIL-2R) serum levels in stage I-III melanoma patients. The levels of sIL-2R were determined using an enzyme immunometric test kit in 329 patients affected by malignant melanoma (MM) from 1995 to 2004. Correlations between sIL-2R values, baseline patients and tumour features were studied by contingency tables and the chi-square test. The Kaplan-Meier product limit method was applied to plot disease-free survival (DFS) curves. Univariate analysis was performed with the Log-rank test. Cox proportional-hazards regression was used to analyse the effect of several risk factors on DFS. In total, 2330 blood samples were collected during follow-up of 329 MM patients. Forty-five (13.7%) patients had Breslow tumour thickness ≤1.00, 83 (25.2%) patients >1.00 and ≤2.00 mm, 72 (21.9%) patients >2.00 and ≤4.00 mm, and 47 (14.3%) patients >4.00 mm. Ulceration was present in 64 cases (19.4%). Thirty-nine sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) (11.8%) were infiltrated by MM. Soluble IL-2R values ranged from 130 to 1420 U/ml; median value was 500 U/ml. One hundred twenty-one (36.8%) patients presented with sIL-2R >600 U/ml at first measure (FM), 194 patients (58.9%) with values increasing up to or more than 600 U/ml [increasing values (IV) pattern]. A correlation was found between Breslow's tumour values and the IV sIL-2R pattern group (P = 0.0304 with χ2 test). Gender, presence of ulceration, Breslow tumour thickness, FM and IV sIL-2R pattern groups had a significant prognostic value for DFS. At multivariate analysis, presence of ulceration, gender, FM and IV sIL-2R pattern groups emerged as independent prognostic factors for DFS. The 5-year DFS rate was 88% for patients with FM 600 U/ml. In IV pattern, the 5-year DFS rate was 69.5% compared to 87% for patients with no sIL-2R values >600 U/ml during follow-up. sIL-2R values are associated with progression of MM. Further studies are needed to address the role of the IL-2/IL-2R/sIL-2R axis in melanoma biology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-155
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 7 2006


  • Malignant melanoma
  • Prognosis
  • Soluble interleukin-2 receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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