TSH receptor antibodies have predictive value for breast cancer - retrospective analysis

Thyroid Res. 2013 May 16;6(1):8. doi: 10.1186/1756-6614-6-8.


Background: Associations between breast cancer and thyroid disorders are reported in numerous studies. Relationships between thyroperoxidase antibodies (TPOAb), thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAb) and breast cancer have been previously demonstrated. However, no analysis has been performed concerning an association between thyrotropin (TSH) receptor antibodies (TSHRAb) and breast cancer. The aim of the study was to evaluate the prevalence of breast cancer or benign breast tumors in patients with Graves' disease and to analyze a possible relationship between Graves' disease and these two groups of breast diseases with emphasis to epidemiology and laboratory findings.

Patients and methods: Clinical and laboratory details of 2003 women hospitalized for endocrine disorders were retrospectively analyzed, using an unpaired Student's t-test, logistic regression analysis, χ2 test of independence or the two-sided ratio comparison test.

Results: The coexistence of Graves' disease and breast cancer was statistically significant. We observed TSHRAb and TgAb more frequently in patients with breast cancer. We found that TSHRAb is the only variable possessing predictive value for breast cancer.

Conclusions: The strong relationship between Graves' disease and breast cancer is proposed. We suggest that TSHRAb could be described as a positive determinant of breast cancer. The present data call attention to the usefulness of screening for breast cancer in long-term follow-up of patients with autoimmune thyroid disorders, especially of those with Graves' disease. Similarly, screening for autoimmune thyroid disorders should be performed in patients with nodular breast disease. Additionally, the article draws ideas for further research in order to develop targeted treatment for more successful outcome in patients with breast cancer.