PURPOSE: The development of a seroma after breast cancer surgery is a common postoperative complication seen after simple mastectomy and axillary surgery. We could recently demonstrate that breast cancer patients undergoing a simple mastectomy with subsequent seroma formation developed a T-helper cell increase within the aspirated fluid measured by flow cytometry. The same study revealed a Th2 and/or a Th17 immune response in peripheral blood and seroma fluid of the same patient. Based on these results and within the same study population, we now analyzed the Th2/Th17 cell associated cytokine content as well as the best known clinical important cytokine IL-6.
METHODS: Multiplex cytokine measurements (IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, IL-10, IL-17, and IL-22) were done on 34 seroma fluids (Sf) after fine needle aspiration of patients who developed a seroma after a simple mastectomy. Serum of the same patient (Sp) and that of healthy volunteers (Sc) were used as controls.
RESULTS: We found the Sf to be highly cytokine rich. Almost all analyzed cytokines were significantly higher in abundance in the Sf compared to Sp and Sc, especially IL-6, which promotes Th17 differentiation as well as suppresses Th1 differentiation in favor of Th2 development.
CONCLUSION: Our Sf cytokine measurements reflect a local immune event. In contrast, former study results on T-helper cell populations in both Sf and Sp tend to demonstrate a systemic immune process.
Research Areas and Centers
- Centers: University Cancer Center Schleswig-Holstein (UCCSH)
- Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)