Published in Cancer Detection and Prevention 2000; 24(Supplement 1).

Influence of the immune system status in cancer patients during chemotherapy and the impact on the overall survival and the quality of life

P Ginopoulos MD 1, M Sougleri 1, D Kardamakis 5, A Karana 4, D Koukouras MD 3, A Christopoulou1, N Apostolopoulos MD 2, S Rathosis MD 2, F Karvelas MD 2, P Dimopoulos MD 2, C Asimakopoulos 1

1 Dept Clinical Oncology of General Hospital "Saint Andreas;", 2 Dept Surgery of General Hospital "Saint Andreas", Patras; 3 Dept Surgery,, 4 Dept Pediatrics,, 5 Dept Radiotherapy, University Hospital; Patras, Greece,

AIMS: Knowledge of the affect of the newer drugs, such as taxoids, on the immune system is important in determining their role in treatment. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of one of the most representative regimens, paclitaxel-carboplatin, on the immune system of patients with NSCLC or ovarian cancer. METHODS:24 previously untreated, inoperable NSCLC and ovarian cancer patients received paclitaxel and carboplatin. Tcell subsets and production of IL-3 and IFN-alpha was measured 1 week before therapy, 1 week before the 3rd cycle and 1 month after the last cycle. RESULTS: There were no statistically significant differences in T lymphocytes or their subpopulations before, during or after chemotherapy. We detected a significant (P(0.05) decrease in IL-3 and IFN-alpha production by lipopolysacharide-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells one week before the 3rd cycle. More importantly, production of these cytokines increased very significantly (P(0.01) 1 month after the end of chemotherapy. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that significant increase in the synthesis of IL-3 and IFN-alpha after chemotherapy. Furthermore the survival was influenced from the profile of the immune system before the chemotherapy and especially from the immediacy of the recovery and stability of the recovery levels after the chemotherapy.

KEY WORDS: cancer, carboplatin, chemotherapy, immune system, paclitaxel, survival.

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Paper presented at the International Symposium on Impact of Biotechnology on Cancer Diagnostic & Prognostic Indicators; Geneva, Switzerland; October 28 - 31, 2000; in the section on chemotherapy.