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Systemic immune effects of adjuvant chemotherapy with 5-fluorouracil, epirubicin and cyclophosphamide and/or radiotherapy in breast cancer: a longitudinal study
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2009 (English)In: Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy, ISSN 0340-7004, Vol. 58, no 1, 111-120 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Immunotherapy is being increasingly utilized for adjuvant treatment for breast cancer (BC). We have previously described immune functions during primary therapy for BC. The present study describes immune recovery patterns during long-term, unmaintained follow-up after completion of adjuvant therapy. A group of patients with primary BC had been treated with adjuvant radio-chemotherapy therapy (RT + CT) 5-fluorouracil, epirubicin and cyclo-phosphamide (FEC) (n = 21) and another group with radiotherapy (RT) (n = 20) alone. Immunological testing of NK and T-cell functions was performed initially at the end of adjuvant treatment and repeated after 2, 6 and 12 months. NK cell cytotoxicity was significantly higher (P < 0.05) at all time-points in patients than in age-matched controls and did not differ between the two treatments groups during one year observation. In contrast, lower numbers of CD4 T-cells and lower expression of CD28 on T-cells was observed particularly in RT + CT patients and did not normalize during the observation period. The numbers of T-reg cells (CD4(+) CD25(high)) were low in the RT + CT group during follow-up, as well as expression of TCR xi, Zap70, p56(lck), P59(fyn) and PI3 k in CD4+ cells. In contrast, expression of intracellular cytokines (IFN-gamma, IL-2, IL-4) in CD4 and CD8 T cells were signiWcantly higher in RT + CT patients than in the RT group and the difference increased during follow-up. In conclusion, NK-cell cytotoxicity increased during unmaintained long-term follow-up whereas CD4 and regulatory T cells as well as signal transduction molecules remained low following adjuvant radio-chemotherapy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 58, no 1, 111-120 p.
Keyword [en]
Breast cancer, NK cells, T cells, Radiation, Chemotherapy
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-107839DOI: 10.1007/s00262-008-0530-5ISI: 000260369800011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-107839DiVA: diva2:233303
Available from: 2009-08-31 Created: 2009-08-31 Last updated: 2009-08-31Bibliographically approved

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Centre for Clinical Research, County of Västmanland
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