Utility of serum interleukin-18 (IL-18) as a tumour marker in gastric cancer


  • Lancelot Lobo
  • M. James Rohith
  • Suchetha Kumari N.
  • Kishan Prasad H. L.




Gastric cancer, serum Interleukin-18, Carcino Embryonic Antigen, Cancer Antigen-125, Alpha-Feto Protein, Prostate-Specific Antigen


Introduction: Gastric cancer (GC) is the fourth most prevailing cancer globally, attributing to more than 70% of cases in developing countries. Protein cancer biomarkers, such as CEA, CA- 125, AFP and PSA, are clinically helpful diagnostic tools, but they have low sensitivity and specificity for GC. Hence, it is essential to discover better markers for GC diagnosis. Interleukin-18 (IL-18) is the member of Interleukin-1 family. It is hypothesized to be a potent inhibitor of gastric acid secretion, leading to gastric atrophy and causing an increased risk of GC. This study was to evaluate the association between the serum IL-18 in GC.


Methodology: We included cases who underwent UGI Scopy and were proven to have GC histopathologically. The patients who presented to the out-patient who underwent UGI scopy and was found to have no growth were selected as controls. Twenty-eight cases and 84 control sample sizes were derived from nMaster V2. Blood samples from patients and controls were collected, and serum IL-18 levels were estimated using a solid-phase sandwich ELISA method.


Results: We found that the cut-off value of serum IL-18 was 85.59 pg/ml, had a sensitivity of 63.1% and specificity of 57.1%, with a positive predictive value of 81.5% and a negative predictive value of 34% in diagnosing GC. The study plotted the receiver operating characteristic curve against IL-18 for sensitivity and specificity. Statistically, we found through the Area Under the Curve (AUC) that the rise in serum IL-18 levels was a poor indicator of GC with a p-value of 0.078.


Conclusion: Statistically, a cut-off of 85.59pg/ml showed good sensitivity and specificity; however, the probability was insignificant, suggesting that IL-18 may not be of diagnostic importance. Studies with a larger sample size are required to further probe into the usefulness of estimating IL-18 in GC.

Author Biographies

Lancelot Lobo

Department of Surgery, K.S. Hegde Medical Academy, Nitte (Deemed to be University) Deralakatte, 575 018, Mangalore, Karnataka, India


M. James Rohith

Department of Surgery, K.S. Hegde Medical Academy, Nitte (Deemed to be University) Deralakatte, 575 018, Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Suchetha Kumari N.

Department of Biochemistry, K.S. Hegde Medical Academy, Nitte (Deemed to be University) Deralakatte, 575 018, Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Kishan Prasad H. L.

Department of Pathology, K.S. Hegde Medical Academy, Nitte (Deemed to be University) Deralakatte, 575 018, Mangalore, Karnataka, India


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How to Cite

Lobo L, Rohith MJ, Kumari N. S, Prasad H. L. K. Utility of serum interleukin-18 (IL-18) as a tumour marker in gastric cancer. Biomedicine [Internet]. 2022 Nov. 14 [cited 2022 Nov. 27];42(5):1079-82. Available from: https://biomedicineonline.org/home/article/view/1442



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