Proteomic profiling of patients undergoing intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) for prostate cancer can identify unique biomarkers that reflect acute toxicity in normal tissues. Our objectives were to measure inflammatory cytokine proteins during IMRT and assess the variability of individual proteomic signatures.
Forty-two patients with intermediate-risk prostate cancer were recruited as follows: group 1, definitive IMRT (78 Gy in 39 fractions, n = 22), and group 2, IMRT postprostatectomy (66 Gy in 33 fractions, n = 20). Blood/urine samples were collected at baseline and weekly during IMRT. Acute toxicity was graded weekly during radiotherapy using CTC-AE v3.0 criteria. Multiplexed immunoassays were used to quantify cytokines including granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor, IFN-gamma, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1alpha, IL-2, IL6, IL-8, IL-10, and IL-12p70.
We observed positive correlations between cytokine expression between serum and plasma, but not between serum/plasma and urine. The Mann-Whitney test showed a significant increase in IFN-gamma and IL-6 during IMRT (P = 0.0077, 0.0035). Increasing IL-2 and IL-1 expression were associated with increased probability of acute gastrointestinal and genitourinary toxicity, respectively.
Determination of radiation-response signatures is feasible using multiplexed immunoassays and is a promising predictive early biomarker of toxicity outcomes.