The immune response is affected for at least three weeks after extensive surgery for ovarian cancer

Anne Craveiro Brøchner, Søren Mikkelsen, Iørn Hegelund, Marianne Hokland, Ole Mogensen, Palle Toft

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INTRODUCTION: The treatment of women with ovarian cancer in advanced stages consists of extensive surgery followed by chemotherapy initiated three weeks after surgery. In this study, selected immune parameters were investigated to elucidate when the immune system is normalised following the operation.

METHODS: Ten women undergoing extensive surgery for ovarian cancer were compared with a control group of ten women undergoing abdominal hysterectomy for a benign diagnosis. Blood samples were collected over a period of 21 days post-operatively. The levels of interleukin-6, interleukin-8, interleukin-10 and the activity and total frequency of natural killer cells were measured.

RESULTS: Interleukin-6 and interleukin-10 were significantly elevated immediately after the operation and also after 21 days. The total population of natural killercells and the total activity were reduced. The total activity of natural killer-cells did not normalise within 21 days.

CONCLUSIONS: The level of the cytokines interleukin-6 and interleukin-10 is increased 21 days after the operation, and the function of natural killer cells is not normalised at 21 days after surgery.

FUNDING: The study received funding from Odense University Hospital Free Research Fund.


Original languageEnglish
Article numberA5243
JournalDanish Medical Journal
Issue number6
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


  • Journal Article


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