Peri-operative acute phase response and cytokine release in women with breast cancer: modulation by polyadenylic-polyuridylic acid

A L Khan, F Larsen, S D Heys, O Eremin

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Aims: Acute phase reactants (APRs) are believed to play an important biological role in trauma, sepsis and malignant disease. We have investigated the induction of the APR, C-reactive protein (CRP), by the biological response modifier, polyadenylic-polyuridylic acid (PAPU) during the peri-operative period.

Methods: Twenty post-menopausal women with breast cancer undergoing mastectomy were randomized into a double blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group pilot study. PAPU (150 mg) or placebo was given intravenously the day prior to surgery (D - I), the day of surgery (D 0) and post-operatively on days (D 1, 3, 5, 7 and 14). Blood samples were collected on eight different days (D -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 4, 6 and 18). CRP was significantly elevated in the PAPU group (P<0.05) on days 2 and 4, when compared with patients receiving placebo. The serum levels of cytokines believed to induce hepatic APRs, were also measured.

Results: The serum concentration of IL-6 was elevated on days I, 2, 4 and 6 (P<0.05), TNF-alpha and IL-1 beta levels were increased on days 1 and 2 (P<0.05), respectively, while the serum of soluble interleukin-2 receptor (sIL-2R) was elevated above the baseline on days 0, 2, 4, 6 and 18 in the PAPU group, when compared with the baseline.

Conclusions: This modulation of acute phase response may have important implications for patients with cancer undergoing surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-579
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • acute phase response
  • polyadenylic-polyuridylic acid
  • synthetic polyribonucleotides

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