Recent prospective studies have shown that dysregulation of the immune system may precede the development of B-cell lymphomas (BCL) in immunocompetent individuals. However, to date, the studies were restricted to a few immune markers, which were considered separately. Using a nested case-control study within two European prospective cohorts, we measured plasma levels of 28 immune markers in samples collected a median of 6 years before diagnosis (range 2.01-15.97) in 268 incident cases of BCL (including multiple myeloma [MM]) and matched controls. Linear mixed models and partial least square analyses were used to analyze the association between levels of immune marker and the incidence of BCL and its main histological subtypes and to investigate potential biomarkers predictive of the time to diagnosis. Linear mixed model analyses identified associations linking lower levels of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2 p=7.2 × 10-4) and transforming growth factor alpha (TGF-α, p=6.5 × 10-5) and BCL incidence. Analyses stratified by histological subtypes identified inverse associations for MM subtype including FGF-2 (p=7.8 × 10-7), TGF-α (p=4.08 × 10-5), fractalkine (p=1.12 × 10-3), monocyte chemotactic protein-3 (p=1.36 × 10-4), macrophage inflammatory protein 1-alpha (p=4.6 × 10-4) and vascular endothelial growth factor (p=4.23 × 10-5). Our results also provided marginal support for already reported associations between chemokines and diffuse large BCL (DLBCL) and cytokines and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Case-only analyses showed that Granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor levels were consistently higher closer to diagnosis, which provides further evidence of its role in tumor progression. In conclusion, our study suggests a role of growth-factors in the incidence of MM and of chemokine and cytokine regulation in DLBCL and CLL.

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International Journal of Cancer
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Vermeulen, R. (Roel), Saberi Hosnijeh, F., Bodinier, B. (Barbara), Portengen, L., Liquet, B. (Benoît), Garrido-Manriquez, J. (Javiera), … Liao, S.-F. (Shu-Fen). (2018). Pre-diagnostic blood immune markers, incidence and progression of B-cell lymphoma and multiple myeloma: Univariate and functionally informed multivariate analyses. International Journal of Cancer. doi:10.1002/ijc.31536