MONDAY, Dec. 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Breast cancer survivors who undergo multimodal treatment have higher cytokines and comorbidities than controls without cancer, according to a study published online Nov. 28 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Catherine M. Alfano, Ph.D., from the American Cancer Society in Washington, D.C., and colleagues conducted a longitudinal study to examine proinflammatory cytokines and comorbidity development over time in 315 women (209 breast cancer survivors and 106 noncancer controls). Participants completed a baseline questionnaire, interview, and blood draw at the time of breast cancer work-up; measures were repeated six and 18 months after primary cancer treatment or within a comparable time frame for the cancer survivors and controls, respectively.
The researchers found that survivors and controls had no baseline differences in comorbidities or cytokines. Compared with the control group, breast cancer survivors had significantly higher tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6 over time. Compared with controls, survivors treated with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy accumulated a significantly greater burden of comorbid conditions and suffered greater inflammation-associated pain over time after cancer treatment.
“Survivors who had multimodal treatment had higher cytokines and comorbidities, suggestive of accelerated aging,” the authors write. “Given that many comorbidities take years to develop, future research with extended follow-up beyond 18 months is necessary to examine the evidence of accelerated aging in cancer survivors and to determine the responsible mechanisms.”
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