The IL6 -174 promoter polymorphism impacts serum cytokine levels through transcriptional regulation. The objective of our study was to determine if -174 IL6 genotype influences survival in ovarian cancer.
The IL6 -174 polymorphism was assessed by direct DNA sequencing in lymphocyte DNA from 160 women with invasive ovarian, or peritoneal cancer patients. IL6 levels were measured in ascites and plasma in a subset of cases using colorimetric sandwich ELISA procedure. Overall survival was calculated according to the method of Kaplan and Meier. Cox regression analysis was used to evaluate the significance of individual variables in multivariate analysis. Chi-square or Fishers Exact was used to assess the significance of contingency tables.
The IL6 -174 genotype frequencies of CC (19%), CG (50%), and GG (31%) were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and were similar to published frequencies in Caucasian controls. There were no associations with IL6 -174 genotype and age, stage or optimal cytoreduction. Stage had a significant impact on survival (p=0.003). The IL6 -174 GG genotype was significantly associated with longer overall survival (median 131 months) compared to CC or CG (median 28 months, p=0.0007). In cox regression analysis using the covariates genotype (p=0.006) and stage (p=0.02), both were independently significant. Furthermore, there was no association found between IL6 levels in ascites or plasma, and genotype, stage, or overall survival.
The IL6 -174 GG genotype has a strong, independent, and favorable impact on survival for women with ovarian, and peritoneal carcinoma.