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Immune Function in Newly Diagnosed Children With Malignancy

Wiegering, Verena MD; Schlegel, Paul-Gerhardt MD; Winkler, Beate MD

Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology: October 2012 - Volume 34 - Issue 7 - p 559–564
doi: 10.1097/MPH.0b013e3182580457
Clinical and Laboratory Observations

Background: Tumor genesis of many pediatric malignancies remains unclear. Data of immune function are lacking at diagnosis. We prospectively analyzed 109 pediatric patients with malignancy at diagnosis.

Methods: Lymphocyte subpopulations were characterized by FACS, TREC-assay, and Immunoscope, cytokines by FACS and ELISA.

Observations: We detected higher values of CD4+ T cells and consecutively shifted CD4+/CD8+ ratio in all patients compared with the control group. In patients with lymphoma, interleukin-2 was upregulated in all subpopulations.

Conclusions: On the basis of these findings an altered immune function could be found in children with different malignancies at diagnosis. Further investigations are necessary to identify tumor-related immune deficiency for novel therapeutic approaches.

Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, University Children’s Hospital Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany

Supported by a program project grant (Z-2/7-28.06.04.) of IZKF Wuerzburg and in part by a grant from the Tour of Hope Foundation (2007).

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Verena Wiegering, MD, Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, University Children’s Hospital Wuerzburg, Josef-Schneiderstr. 2, D-97080 Wuerzburg, Germany (e-mail: wiegering_v@klinik.uni-wuerzburg.de).

Received October 13, 2011

Accepted March 29, 2012

Copyright © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.