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Clinical significance of IL-37 serum level and polymorphism in patients with endometrial cancer Volume 34, issue 4, December 2023

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Authors
1 Shiraz Institute for Cancer Research, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
3 Biochemistry Department, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
4 Sirjan School of Medical Sciences, Sirjan, Iran.
5 Department of Laboratory Sciences, Sirjan School of Medical Sciences, Sirjan, Iran.
* Correspondence: Navid Jamali

Background

Endometrial cancer (EC) is recognized as the second most common type of cancer among women. Interleukin-37 (IL-37) is a recently discovered member of the IL-1 cytokine family characterized by its anti-inflammatory properties, which are believed to have both anti-tumour and tumorigenic effects. However, the precise role of IL-37 in the development of EC remains largely unknown.

Objective

In the current study, we aimed to explore genotype and allele frequencies of the IL-37 gene (rs4241122) and measure IL-37 protein levels in patients with EC, with a view to determining the clinical significance in these patients.

Methods

A total of 105 patients with confirmed EC and 105 healthy controls, aged 31-73, participated in the study. IL-37 serum levels were investigated using an ELISA method, while the frequency of genotypes and alleles of the IL-37 gene was determined using the ARMS-PCR method.

Results

The findings demonstrate a significant increase in IL-37 serum levels in EC patients compared to controls (p<0.0001). Moreover, higher levels of IL-37 were strongly associated with unfavourable indices, such as EC grade III, poorly differentiated tumours, and regional spread of tumour cells (p<0.05). However, genotyping of the IL-37 gene revealed no significant difference between the two groups, and there was no association between IL-37 genotype and IL-37 protein level or clinicopathological characteristics (p>0.05).

Conclusion

The results of this study suggest that elevated serum levels of may contribute to tumour progression, probably through its immune suppressive activity. Clinically, IL-37 may serve as a promising factor and/or therapeutic target for EC management, although, further studies are warranted.