T-cell homeostasis in breast cancer survivors with persistent fatigue.

TitleT-cell homeostasis in breast cancer survivors with persistent fatigue.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsBower JE, Ganz PA, Aziz N, Fahey JL, Cole SW
JournalJ Natl Cancer Inst
Date Published2003 Aug 6
KeywordsAdult, Aged, Analysis of Variance, Antigens, CD, Antigens, CD3, Breast Neoplasms, Case-Control Studies, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Chronic Disease, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Fatigue, Female, Humans, Inflammation, Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein, Middle Aged, Neopterin, Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type II, Sialoglycoproteins, T-Lymphocytes

Approximately 30% of women successfully treated for breast cancer suffer persistent fatigue of unknown origin. Recent studies linking inflammatory processes to central nervous system-mediated fatigue led us to examine cellular immune system status in 20 fatigued breast cancer survivors and 19 matched non-fatigued breast cancer survivors. Fatigued survivors, compared with non-fatigued survivors, had statistically significantly increased numbers of circulating T lymphocytes (mean 31% increase, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 6% to 56%; P =.015 by two-sided analysis of variance [ANOVA]), with pronounced elevation in the numbers of CD4+ T lymphocytes (mean 41% increase, 95% CI = 15% to 68%; P =.003 by two-sided ANOVA) and CD56+ effector T lymphocytes (mean 52% increase, 95% CI = 4% to 99%; P =.027 by two-sided ANOVA). These changes were independent of patient demographic and treatment characteristics. Absolute numbers of B cells, natural killer cells, granulocytes, and monocytes were not altered. The increased numbers of circulating T cells correlated with elevations in the level of serum interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (for CD3+ cells, r =.56 and P =.001; for CD3+/CD4+ cells, r =.68 and P<.001, by Spearman rank correlation). Results of this study suggest that persistent fatigue in breast cancer survivors might be associated with a chronic inflammatory process involving the T-cell compartment. These results require confirmation in a larger study that is specifically designed to address this hypothesis.

Alternate JournalJ. Natl. Cancer Inst.
PubMed ID12902446
Grant ListAI49135 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
AI52737 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
MH019925 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R01CA63028 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States