Ovarian cancer is the deadliest tumor in the female reproductive system. It is often called the "silent killer" because it tends to remain asymptomatic in the early stages, making it difficult to diagnose until it reaches an advanced and less treatable stage. Early detection of ovarian cancer is vital to increase survival rates and treatment outcomes. Treatment depends on the type and stage of ovarian cancer and it comprises chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and other advanced treatment options .
Recent advances in cancer research have led to the discovery of potential biomarkers for early detection, and one such promising biomarker is CXCL10. In this blog, we will explore the use of CXCL10 in detecting ovarian cancer and its potential to revolutionize early diagnosis.
What is CXCL10?
CXCL10 is a cytokine belonging to the CXC chemokine family, which is also identified as interferon γ-induced protein 10 kDa (IP-10) or small-inducible cytokine B10. CXC chemokines are released by tumor cells as well as other types of cells. According to recent research, CXC chemokines may affect immune function, tumor immunology, and biological phenotypes both directly and indirectly. Chemokines can thus have an impact on angiogenesis, tumor growth, metastasis, and patient prognosis .
CXCL10 is released by many cells, including immune cells, in response to inflammation and infection. The recruitment of immune cells to areas of infection or tissue injury is aided by CXCL10. However, recent research has put forward that CXCL10 may have a role beyond immune function; it might be a useful biomarker for cancer detection, particularly ovarian cancer.
CXCL10 binds to the CXCR3 receptor to produce its pharmacological effects including:
Chemotaxis (movement of cells in response to an extracellular chemical gradient)
Cell growth and proliferation
Induction of apoptosis.
Angiostatic effects (inhibiting the growth of blood vessels).
CXCL10 is linked to various diseases including chronic inflammation, infectious diseases, immunological dysfunction, tumor growth, metastasis, and dissemination. Furthermore, CXCL10 has been found to be a key biological marker influencing disease severity and has diverse roles in disease initiation and progression. CXCL10 may serve as a prognostic marker for several diseases, including ovarian cancer [1,2].
What are the mechanisms by which CXCL10 exerts its effects?
CXCL10 may be crucial in the emergence and progression of ovarian cancer in several ways, including:
Patient survival and immunological infiltration are associated with CXCL10.
Overexpressing CXCL10 can effectively improve tumor suppression and accelerate the death of tumor cells by cytotoxic T-lymphocytes.
CXCL10 can effectively prevent tumor angiogenesis.
CXCL10 can thereby slow the spread of ovarian cancer by improving immune system activity and reducing angiogenesis [1,2].
The assessment of CXCL10 expression in ovarian cancer could predict tumor growth, immune cell infiltration, tumor microenvironment signature, genetic alteration, and prognosis of the patient. According to studies, ovarian cancer patients typically have higher amounts of CXCL10 in their blood and tissues compared to healthy people. It has been suggested that the progression of ovarian cancer and the efficacy of treatment can both be tracked over time by monitoring changes in CXCL10 levels. Changes in CXCL10 levels may specify whether the cancer is responding to treatment or becoming more aggressive [3,4].
Final thoughts and considerations
CXCL10 has great potential as a biomarker for the early detection of ovarian cancer. Its ability to recognize ovarian cancer at an early stage and perhaps distinguish between several ovarian cancer subtypes could completely alter how we detect and treat this fatal condition. However, additional research and clinical validation are required to completely utilize the potential of CXCL10 for enhancing ovarian cancer outcomes. With continuing developments in medical science and technology, there is hope that CXCL10 will eventually play a substantial role in the early detection and treatment of ovarian cancer.
1. Li, W. et al. 'Screening of CXC chemokines in the microenvironment of ovarian cancer and the biological function of CXCL10'. World Journal of Surgical Oncology. (2021) 19. DOI: 10.1186/s12957-021-02440-x.
2. Zhou, C. et al. 'The role of CXCL family members in different diseases'. Cell Death Discov. (2023) 9, 212. DOI: 10.1038/s41420-023-01524-9.
3. Jin, J. et al. 'Identification of CXCL10-Relevant Tumor Microenvironment Characterization and Clinical Outcome in Ovarian Cancer'. Front Genet. (2021) 12, 678747. DOI: 10.3389/fgene.2021.678747.
4. Ardighieri, L. et al. 'Infiltration by CXCL10 Secreting Macrophages Is Associated With Antitumor Immunity and Response to Therapy in Ovarian Cancer Subtypes'. Frontiers in Immunology. (2021) 12.