Background: The immune response in patients with melanoma is an important focus of research due to the tumor’s resistance and immunotherapy possibilities. IL-27 is one of the cytokines with antitumor properties. The role of IL-27 in the pathogenesis of melanoma is still unclear. The aim of this study was to examine the association between serum IL-27 levels and the clinical parameters of melanoma patients.
Methods: The IL-27 concentration was determined by commercial ELISA in serum samples from melanoma patients (n=72) and healthy control subjects (n=44). Patients were classified according to AJCC clinical stage, TNM stage, the length of progression-free interval (PFI) and the extent of the disease (localized or widespread).
Results: Average IL-27 values were increased in patients with early stages of melanoma compared to patients with terminal stages and control values. The highest IL-27 concentration was found in stage IIa. Patients in stages III and IV had significantly lower values of IL-27 compared to control. Patients with localized melanoma and shorter PFI had insignificantly increased IL-27 levels compared to patients with widespread disease and longer PFI. Patients with metastatic disease and stage TNM4 had significantly lower average IL-27 values compared to control. Patients with high production of IL-27 (>1000 pg/mL) were most numerous in IIa AJCC stage, with initial tumor size TNM2 and in the group of patients with localized disease.
Conclusions: High levels of IL-27 in patients with melanoma are associated with the initial stages and localized disease.