We studied marrow angiogenesis and plasma levels of angiogenic cytokines in 38 patients receiving thalidomide therapy for previously untreated myeloma. The effect of therapy and the relationship of cytokine levels to myeloma cell proliferation, bone marrow microvessel density and progression-free survival (PFS) were studied. High pretreatment tumour necrosis factor-α (TNFα) levels (> 11 pg/ml) and increased interleukin (IL)-6 of > 2 pg/ml predicted for poorer PFS (TNFα, 48% versus 74% at 2 years, P = 0. 01; IL-6, 24% versus 70% at 2 years, P = 0.01). None of the other parameters predicted response or PFS, and no significant changes in cytokine levels occurred with therapy.
- Multiple myeloma
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