Relationship of cellular immunity, cytokines and CRP with clinical course in breast cancer patients with endocrine-dependent distant metastases treated with immunotherapy

Cancer Lett. 2007 Jun 28;251(2):330-8. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2006.12.002. Epub 2007 Jan 9.


We have reported important benefits and survival with an immunotherapy schedule in patients with endocrine-dependent breast cancer and distant metastases. Here clinical outcome is updated and its correlation with new immunological data is shown. In 32 evaluated breast cancer patients with endocrine-dependent distant metastases treated with a new immunotherapy schedule (cyclic administration of beta-interferon and interleukin-2), cellular immunity, cytokines and CRP were related to the clinical course. Estimated and true 5-10 year overall survival rates from first line antiestrogen and distant metastases were higher than previously reported in a similar population. Interleukin-2 administration was followed by a significant increase in total lymphocytes, CD4+, CD8+, CD16+56+ (NK) cells, IL-6, IL-12, and CRP (from P<0.04 to P<0.000) but no change in IL-10 and TGFbeta1 during clinical benefit. During progressive disease no change was observed in the former parameters, concomitant with a significant increase in IL-10 (P=0.020) and a significant decrease in TGFbeta1 (P=0.023). These findings confirm that cellular immunity is significantly stimulated by IL-2 only during clinical benefit. Furthermore, these results demonstrate that different changes of proinflammatory cytokines, CRP and inhibiting factors are consistent with associated clinical benefit or with disease progression, respectively.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis*
  • Cytokines / analysis*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular*
  • Interferon-beta / administration & dosage*
  • Interleukin-2 / administration & dosage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / therapy
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tamoxifen / therapeutic use
  • Toremifene / therapeutic use


  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-2
  • Tamoxifen
  • Interferon-beta
  • Toremifene
  • C-Reactive Protein