Cancer patients report a history of fewer fevers during infections than healthy controls
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Department of Immunology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń, Poland
Department of Urology, Municipal Hospital, Inowrocław, Poland
Department of Urology, Regional Oncology Centre, Bydgoszcz, Poland
Wiesław Kozak   

Department of Immunology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Gagarina 9, 87-100 Toruń, Poland.
J Pre Clin Clin Res. 2009;3(1):31–35
Fever is one of the pathophysiological symptoms accompanying the response of the host to infection and inflammation. Although the adaptive value of the fever response has been well documented in laboratory studies, its role in clinical medicine is still under debate. Two of the hypotheses studied state that endogenous mediators of fever may be involved in establishing the Th1 immunologic phenotype of the host and in improving general immunologic surveillance. It is known that these factors play a significant role in defence against tumour cells. Therefore, in the present study we tested the hypothesis that patients diagnosed with cancer reveal a history of fewer fevers during the disease than control, healthy volunteers. 18 questions were asked concerning the history of fever prior to diagnosis from 355 persons suffering from cancer, and 244 healthy controls, matched for age and living in Poland. Cancer patients reported a lower incidence of fever during illness than controls. The percentage of cancer patients and controls who reported no fever during infections was 83.10% and 56.97%, respectively. Similarly, 16.90% of cancer patients and 43.03% of controls reported always experiencing fever during infections. The results of our study support the hypothesis that during their lifetime cancer patients experience less fever during infection than healthy controls.
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