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Journal of Thyroid Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 6178921, 12 pages
Research Article

Significance of Interleukin-6 in Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma

Division of Molecular Endocrinology, Cancer Biology Department, The Gujarat Cancer & Research Institute, NCH Compound, Asarwa, Ahmedabad, Gujarat 380016, India

Received 29 October 2015; Accepted 17 February 2016

Academic Editor: Noriyuki Koibuchi

Copyright © 2016 Toral P. Kobawala et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study sought to reveal the significance of IL-6 in papillary thyroid carcinoma by determining its circulating levels, tumoral protein, and mRNA expressions. As compared to the healthy individuals, serum IL-6 was significantly higher in patients with benign thyroid diseases and PTC. Further, its level was significantly higher in PTC patients as compared to patients with benign thyroid diseases. ROC curves also confirmed a good discriminatory efficacy of serum IL-6 between healthy individuals and patients with benign thyroid diseases and PTC. The circulating IL-6 was significantly associated with poor overall survival in PTC patients. IL-6 immunoreactivity was significantly high in PTC patients as compared to the benign thyroid disease patients. Significantly higher IL-6 mRNA expression was also observed in the primary tumour tissues of PTC patients than the adjacent normal tissues. The protein expression of IL-6 at both the circulating and tissue level correlated with disease aggressiveness in PTC patients. Moreover, a significant positive correlation was observed between the IL-6 protein and mRNA expression in the primary tumours of PTC patients. Finally in conclusion, IL-6 has an important role in thyroid cancer progression. Thus targeting IL-6 signalling can help in clinical management of thyroid carcinoma patients.