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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2005, Issue 1, Pages 60-62

Modification of Interleukin-15 Serum Levels in Workers Exposed to Chemotherapeutic Agents

1Department of Social and Environmental Medicine – Section of Occupational Medicine, University of Messina, Messina 98125, Italy
2Department of Human Pathology, School of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, University of Messina, Messina 98125, Italy
3Department of Internal Medicine, University of Messina, Messina 98125, Italy
4Department of Hygiene, Preventive Medicine and Public Health “R. De Blasi,”, University of Messina, Messina 98125, Italy

Received 21 October 2004; Accepted 1 November 2004

Copyright © 2005 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


Cytostatic anticancer drugs are known as carcinogenic, mutagenic, and teratogenic risk factors for health care workers occupationally exposed. It has been demonstrated that the administration of interleukin-15 in rat models of colon carcinoma protects against chemotherapy-induced gastrointestinal toxicities. We found that occupational exposure to chemotherapeutic antiblastic agents in vivo modified circulating levels of interleukin-15 in 17 health care workers exposed to antineoplastic drugs in relation to their jobs and in as many healthy age- and sex-matched subjects. Health care workers displayed significantly higher circulating interleukin-15 levels compared to their age-matched controls. If this increase representing an anticancer response remains to be established, these findings strengthen the idea of a therapeutic use of interleukin-15 in the field of cancer.