Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 305–309 | Cite as

Relationship of serum and tumor levels of iron and iron-binding proteins to lymphocyte immunity against tumor antigen in breast cancer patients

  • Robert L. Elliott
  • Jonathan F. Head
  • James L. McCoy
Brief communication

Summary

Fifty-two breast cancer patients were evaluated for levels of several molecules related to iron metabolism including determining their tumor tissue and serum ferritin levels, serum transferrin levels, and serum iron levels. In addition the patients' lymphocyte immunity against autologous tumor antigen was investigated. Forty percent (21 of 52) of the patients had lymphocyte immunity against tumor antigen. Iron metabolism molecules were expressed in abnormal quantities in some breast cancer patients: 27% (13 of 49) had elevated tumor tissue ferritin levels, 4% (2 of 49) had abnormally high serum ferritin, 10% (5 of 49) had abnormally low serum transferrin levels, and 43% (21 of 49) had depressed serum iron levels. None of these abnormalities in iron metabolism are associated with tumor immunity. These iron metabolism molecules may be indicative of rates of cell proliferation or may influence growth of breast cancer cells, but do not appear to influence host lymphocyte immunity against tumor associated antigens.

Key words

breast cancer immunity tumor antigen ferritin iron transferrin 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Dean JH, McCoy JL, Cannon GB, Leonard CM, Perlins E, Kreutner A: Cell-mediated immune response of breast cancer patients to autologous tumor-associated antigens. J Nat Cancer Inst 58: 549–555, 1977Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Head JF, Wang F, Elliott RL, McCoy JL: Assessment of immunological competence and host reactivity against tumor antigens in breast cancer patients: Prognostic value and rationale of immunotherapy development. Ann New York Acad Sci 160: 340–342, 1993Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Head JF, Elliott RL, McCoy JL: Evaluation of lymphocyte immunity in breast cancer patients. Breast Cancer Res Treat 26: 77–88, 1993Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Brock JH: Iron and the immune system. In: Lauffer RB (ed) Iron and Human Disease. CRC Press, Boca Raton, 1992, pp 161–178Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Marcus DM, Zinberg N: Measurement of serum ferritin by radioimmunoassay: Results in normal individuals and patients with breast cancer. J Nat Cancer Inst 55: 791–795, 1975Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Jacobs A, Jones B, Ricketts C, Bulbrook RD, Wang DY: Serum ferritin concentration in early breast cancer. Br J Cancer 34: 286–290, 1976Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Weinstein RE, Bond BH, Silberberg BK: Tissue ferritin concentration in carcinoma of the breast. Cancer 50: 2406–2409, 1982Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rossiello R, Carriero MV, Giordano GG: Distribution of ferritin, transferrin and lactoferrin in breast carcinoma tissue. J Clin Path 37: 51–55, 1984Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Elliott RL, Ledford L, Werneke D, Elliott MC: Tissue ferritin concentration in breast carcinoma: A possible marker of proliferative index (a cytosol and electron microscopy study). Proc Annual Meeting of Elec Micros Soc Am 47: 852, 1986Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Weinstein RE, Bond BH, Silberberg BK, Vaughn CB, Subbaiah P, Pieper DR: Tissue ferritin concentration and prognosis in carcinoma of the breast. Breast Cancer Res Treat 14: 349–353, 1989Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rizzino A, Sato G: Growth of embryonal carcinoma cells in serum free medium. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 5: 1844–1848, 1978Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Faulk WP, Hsi B-L, Stevens PJ: Transferrin and transferrin receptors in carcinoma of the breast. Lancet ii: 390–392, 1980Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lamoureux G, Mandeville R, Poisson R, Poisson-Legault S, Jolicoeur R: Biological markers and breast cancer. A multiparametric study. Increased serum protein levels. Cancer 49: 502–512, 1982Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Matzner Y, Hershko C, Polliack A, Konijn AM, Izak G: Suppressive effect of ferritin onin vitro lymphocyte function. Br J Hemat 42: 345–353, 1979Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Cazzola M, Arosio P, Bellotto V, Bergamschi G, Dezza L, Iacobello C, Ruggeri G, Zappone E, Albertini A, Ascari E: Immunological reactivity of serum ferritin in patients with malignancy. Tumori 71: 547–554, 1985Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Moroz C, Giler S, Kupfer B, Urca I: Lymphocyte bearing surface ferritin in patients with Hodgkin's disease and breast cancer. N Engl J Med 296: 1172–1173, 1977Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Neckers LM, Cossman J: Transferrin receptor induction in mitogen stimulated T lymphocytes is required for DNA synthesis and cell division and is regulated by IL-2. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 80: 3494–3498, 1983Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Oren ME, Herberman RB: Delayed cutaneous hypersensitivity reactions to membrane extracts of human tumors. Clin Exp Immunol 9: 45–56, 1971Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Morita R, Yoshii M, Nakajima K, Kohsaka T, Miki M, Torizuka K: Clinical evaluation of serum ferritin to iron ratio in malignant disease. Eur J Nucl Med 6: 331–336, 1981Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert L. Elliott
    • 1
  • Jonathan F. Head
    • 1
  • James L. McCoy
    • 2
  1. 1.The Elliott Mastology CenterBaton RougeUSA
  2. 2.ImmuQuest LaboratoriesGaithersburgUSA

Personalised recommendations