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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effects of Viscum album extract therapy in patients with cancer: relation with interleukin-6, soluble interleukin-6 receptor, and soluble gp130.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this investigation was to determine the effects of Viscum album (VA) extract therapy on interleukin (IL)-12, IL-16, IL-6, soluble interleukin-6 receptor (sIL-6R), and soluble gp130 (sgp130) in patients with cancer. VA extract as immunomodulator is used as treatment either following or in combination with chemo/radiotherapy. Previously we showed that serum levels of IL-12 and IL-16 were significantly elevated during tumor progression in 72 patients. The serum values of IL-6 were not significantly altered, however sIL-6R and sgp130 also increased significantly. DESIGN: In this study the serum levels of the five parameters were measured during VA extract therapy in 46 of these 72 tumor patients and compared to the values before VA extract treatment. The levels of the serum parameters IL-12, IL-16, IL-6, sIL-6R, sgp130 were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). SETTING: Private cancer hospital in Arlesheim, Switzerland. RESULTS: Eighty percent (80%) of the tumor patients survived longer than 1 year (11 patients in stage I + II without, 8 patients after chemotherapy/radiotherapy, 10 patients in stage III + IV without, 8 patients after chemotherapy). Clinically and with laboratory investigations there was no progression in these patients. VA extract therapy did not affect serum values of IL-12 or IL-16. However both the number of patients with increased levels of IL-6, sIL-6R, and sgp130 and also the serum values decreased significantly during the treatment, (between p < 0.05 and p < 0.001). In 20% of the patients with cancer with rapid progression who died within 3 months, the serum values of IL-6 increased significantly (p < 0.05), whereas the other investigated parameters did not change. CONCLUSION: The results show that measurements of IL-6, sIL-6R, and sgp130 could be important for establishing the clinical condition and evaluating treatment in tumor patients.[1]


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