In vitro, neopterin, a pyrazinopyrimidine compound, is excreted by human monocytes-macrophages after induction by supernatants from activated T-lymphocytes or by recombinant γ-interferon. In vivo, it represents a noninvasive test for activation of cellular immune reactions. To evaluate the prognostic value of pretherapeutic urinary neopterin levels and of serial neopterin measurements during follow-up in women with cervical cancer, 1088 urine specimens from 186 consecutive patients were analyzed. Clinical assessments were made without knowledge of the results of neopterin assays (a “blinded” assessment). During the observation period (June 1980 to March 1984), 27 relapses, 18 metastases, and 26 deaths were seen. The prognostic significance of pretherapeutic neopterin and other possible prognostic clinical and laboratory parameters was tested by the univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards model using a stratification according to stage and surgical treatment. The combination of age at diagnosis, pretherapeutical hemoglobin, leukocyte count, and neopterin was found to predict survival best. On the basis of this result, risk groups were identified exhibiting markedly different survival behavior. A highly significant association was found between serial neopterin measurements and the risk for a relapse, metastasis, or death. The data suggest that urinary neopterin levels might be a useful adjuvant parameter in monitoring women with cervical cancer.
Supported by the Austrian research funds “Zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung,” Project No. 4905.