Antioxidants, Cytokines & Markers of Oxidative Stress in Lung Cancer
Associations with adverse events, response & survival
Acta Universitatis Tamperensis No. 1501


By Marika Crohns
June 2010
Tampere University Press
Distributed By Coronet Books
ISBN: 9789514479977
198 pages
$77.50 Paper original

Lung cancer represents a major health concern with over 1.3 million cases diagnosed worldwide each year. A growing body of evidence has indicated that lung cancer, among other cancers, is associated with increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Also ionizing radiation induces the formation of ROS, which can damage lipids, proteins and DNA. In addition, many chemotherapeutic agents seem to be associated with the generation of free radicals and increased lipid peroxidation. Despite accumulating data on ROS in cancer, there are few studies examining antioxidants, cytokines and markers of oxidative stress during cancer treatments.

To evaluate oxidative stress in lung cancer, we examined the levels of a number of antioxidants, various cytokines, total peroxyl radical trapping antioxidant potential (TRAP) and a number of parameters of oxidative and nitrosative stress in 65 lung cancer patients and 66 non-cancer controls. Our aim was to assess the local and systemic effects of lung cancer and its treatment by radiotherapy and chemotherapy on these markers. The markers were also evaluated in relation to various clinicopathological parameters, and possible associations between these markers and adverse events, response to treatment and overall survival of the patients were investigated.

The findings here would indicate that lung cancer is associated with increased oxidative stress and production of certain cytokines. It was also demonstrated that bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid can be a useful medium for analyzing local cytokine and oxidative stress marker status in lung cancer patients. The involvement of radiotherapy and chemotherapy produces free radicals, as evidenced by a decrease in the levels of various antioxidants and elevation of certain markers of oxidative stress during these treatments. However, it appears that the body´s own antioxidant defense system is fairly sufficient to counteract the increase in ROS during lung cancer treatments. Higher exhaled pentane levels, as a marker of lipid peroxidation, seemed to predict better survival. In addition, these data imply that serum and BAL fluid IL-8 and serum VEGF may be useful prognostic factors in lung cancer patients. A further interesting future research topic is the association between plasma and BAL thiols and survival of patients. However, additional studies are called for to explore the possible associations between oxidative stress markers and adverse events and response to treatment.

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