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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 127-132

A study on biochemical facet of anemia in cancers: A strong link between erythropoietin and tumor necrosis factor alpha in anemic cancer patients

Department of Genetics, Bhagwan Mahavir Medical Research Centre, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
K Jamil
Department of Genetics, Bhagwan Mahavir Medical Research Centre, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: Department of Genetics, Bhagwan Mahavir Medical Research Centre and Indo American Cancer Institute and Research Centre (for resources like lab and equipments)., Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.175579

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Background: The three direct factors that could lead cancer patients to anemia, apart from therapy are iron deficiency, inflammatory cytokines surge and decreased erythropoietin (Epo). Our aim was to quantify biochemical and hematologic markers serum Epo, ferritin (Fe) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) along with hemoglobin (Hb) to understand the associations between these factors, patient characteristics and anemia. Materials And Methods: The study group consisted of 100 anemic cancer patients and 80 controls. Biochemical marker levels were determined by the enzyme linked immunosorbent assay on an autoanalyser. Univarient analysis, t-test, ANOVA, Bonferroni test, linear regression was performed to find correlations and associations among various factors. Results: The baseline serum Epo (153.07 ± 173.88 vs. 23.607 ± 36.462) and Fe levels (233.53 ± 257.12 vs. 23.06 ± 20.04) were adequately high in cases compared with that controls (P ≤ 0.001). Considerable raise in TNF-α levels was also observed (16.26 ± 13.44 vs. 11.2375 ± 4.84) (P = 0.001). TNF-α correlated positively (P = 0.022) with Epo and Fe (P = 0.000), which was also evident from large effect size of Epo (r2 = 0.414), TNF-α (r2 = 0.369), Hb (r2 = 0.226). Epo and Hb were negatively correlated (β = −0.375, P = 0.001) and Epo production was found to be appropriate for the degree of anemia (O/P ratio of 3.51 ± 1.26 vs. 1.43 ± 0.47). A strong association was seen between Hb, Epo and TNF-α in hematological and gynecological malignancies for different grades of anemia. Men were more prone to life-threatening anemia (13%) than women (9%). Conclusion: Anemia in cancers was not because of inadequate Epo or Fe levels, but because of improper Epo response. Further studies on molecular analysis of Epo, biochemical and molecular interplay between Epo and TNF-α could explain a rationale for anemia in cancers.


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