[en] lung ; radiotherapy ; BAL ; IL-6 ; TGF-beta(1)
[en] PURPOSE: To assess, in lung cancer patients, the effects of thoracic radiotherapy (RT) on the concentrations of transforming growth factor-beta(1) (TGF-beta(1)) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Eleven patients with lung cancer requiring RT as part of their treatment were studied. BAL was performed bilaterally before, during, and 1, 3, and 6 months after RT. Before each BAL session, the patient's status was assessed clinically using pulmonary function tests and an adapted late effects on normal tissue-subjective, objective, management, analytic (LENT-SOMA) scale, including subjective and objective alterations. The National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria were used to grade pneumonitis. The TGF-beta(1) and IL-6 levels in the BAL fluid were determined using the Easia kit. RESULTS: The TGF-beta(1) and IL-6 concentrations in the BAL fluid recovered from the irradiated areas were significantly increased by thoracic RT. The increase in TGF-beta(1) levels tended to be greater in the group of patients who developed severe pneumonitis. In the BAL fluid from the nonirradiated areas, the TGF-beta(1) and IL-6 concentrations remained unchanged. CONCLUSION: The observed increase in TGF-beta(1) and IL-6 concentrations in the BAL fluid recovered from the irradiated lung areas demonstrated that these cytokines may contribute to the process leading to a radiation response in human lung tissue.