Low serum level of soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor p55 predicts response to thalidomide in advanced multiple myeloma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background and Objectives. Thalidomide modulates the production of tumor necrosis factor (TNF-alpha). Soluble TNF receptors, TNFR p55 and TNFR p75, modify TNF-a activity. In this study, we explored the relation between soluble TNF receptors and outcome in patients with advanced multiple myeloma treated with thalidomide. Design and Methods. The levels of soluble TNF receptor p55 and p75 were assessed in serum from 34 myeloma patients with relapsed or refractory disease before starting thalidomide treatment. Serial measurements were performed for 16 patients in serum collected during treatment. Results. The pre-treatment serum level of soluble TNFR p55 in thalidomide responders was significantly lower than that in non-responders (median 1.75 ng/mL (range 1.19-2.84) vs. 2.79 ng/mL (1.36-5.51), p=0.004). The levels of p55 declined significantly during treatment. The levels of p75 showed the same pattern as p55, but the differences were not significant. The median survival of myeloma patients with pre-treatment levels of p55 less than or equal to 2.79 ng/mL was 404 days; the median survival of patients with pre-treatment levels less than or equal to 2.79 ng/mL was shorter (65 days, log-rank test p=0.02). Interpretation and Conclusions. We conclude that soluble TNFR p55 is an adverse prognostic factor in myeloma patients with relapsed or refractory disease treated with thalidomide. Patients with a low pre-treatment level of this receptor have a better response rate and a longer overall survival.


  • AT Brenne
  • LH Romstad
  • P Gimsing
  • G Juliusson
  • Ingemar Turesson
  • P Romundstad
  • M Borset
  • A Sundan
  • A Waage
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Hematology


  • advanced myeloma, soluble TNFR, thalidomide
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)552-556
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Emergency medicine/Medicine/Surgery (013240200)