Surgery Today

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 483–489 | Cite as

High serum levels of interleukin-6 in patients with advanced or metastatic colorectal cancer: the effect on the outcome and the response to chemotherapy plus bevacizumab

  • Masayasu Hara
  • Takaya Nagasaki
  • Kazuyoshi Shiga
  • Hiroki Takahashi
  • Hiromitsu Takeyama
Original Article



We evaluated the relationship of the pretreatment serum IL-6 levels with the outcome and treatment response in patients with advanced or metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) who underwent bevacizumab-containing chemotherapy.


In this retrospective study, the pretreatment serum IL-6 and plasma vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels were measured in 113 patients with metastatic CRC. The cut-off values for these measurements, as determined by a receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, were 4.3 and 66 pg/mL, respectively. The median follow-up period was 19 months (range 1–40 months). Sixty-three patients had primary cancer, and 38 had a metachronous recurrence. Thirty patients underwent curative resection, and 71 underwent chemotherapy, 53 of whom received bevacizumab-containing chemotherapy. Overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were estimated using Kaplan–Meier and multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression analyses.


The plasma VEGF levels and positive KRAS mutation status were not associated with the outcomes. However, high serum IL-6 levels were significantly associated with poorer OS and PFS in comparison to low serum IL-6 levels. A Cox proportional hazards regression analysis showed that high serum IL-6 levels were an independent risk factor for a poor outcome.


In patients with metastatic CRC, high pretreatment serum IL-6 levels were associated with a poor outcome and bevacizumab resistance.


Colorectal cancer Bevacizumab Interleukin-6 (IL-6) Chemo-resistance 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masayasu Hara
    • 1
  • Takaya Nagasaki
    • 1
  • Kazuyoshi Shiga
    • 1
  • Hiroki Takahashi
    • 1
  • Hiromitsu Takeyama
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Gastroenterological SurgeryNagoya City UniversityNagoyaJapan

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