Cytokines expression levels from tissue, plasma or serum as promising clinical biomarkers in adenocarcinoma of the prostate: a systematic review of recent findings
Prostate cancer (PC) is a common cancer (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) in men in many parts of the world, although incidence and mortality rates vary significantly by population. In current medical practice, prognostic markers for PC include the presenting serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level, tumour Gleason score (GS) and clinical tumour stage. However, existing pre-treatment factors cannot be used to predict acute radiotherapy (RT)-induced toxicity. Therefore, new protein biomarkers are required in RT oncology to improve decision-making, treatment and therapy monitoring for PC patients. The aim of this systematic review is to the update potential research to address the difference in cytokine expression and their association with RT-induced toxicity and clinical outcomes. Studies were collected after searching three electronic databases: PubMed, Medline, and Google Scholar. An additional search was carried out through cross-check on a bibliography of selected articles. After the selection process made by two of the authors, 19 articles met the inclusion criteria and were included in the systematic review. Results from previous studies identified elevated levels of cytokines have been reported in several types of cancers and have sometimes correlated with disease progression or prognosis. Elevated levels of cytokine were noticed after immediate exposure to RT and their association with RT-induced acute/late toxicity of PC patients. Moreover, above studies also identified overexpression of cytokines on tumour biopsies and correlation with shortening cancer-specific survival and biochemical recurrence. Thus, altered levels of cytokine might be predictive biomarkers for RT-induced and clinical outcomes of PC patients.