Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 159–164 | Cite as

Tumour necrosis factor‐α and interleukin‐1 and ‐6 in fibrocystic breast disease

  • Alfonso Herruzo
  • Jose Antonio Castilla
  • Angel Ramírez
  • Cristina Marcos
  • Salomón Menjón


The risk of developing breast cancer is higher in women presenting gross cystic disease (cysts > 3 mm in diameter) of the breast with intracystic K+/Na+ > 3 as compared with K+/Na+ < 3. The present study reports the levels of tumour necrosis factor‐α (TNF‐α), interleukin‐1 (IL‐1), and interleukin‐6 (IL‐6) in the breast cyst fluid of women with gross cystic disease and analyses the relationship between the intracystic concentration of these cytokines, sex steroid hormones, and the K+/Na+ ratio. The concentration of these cytokines, estradiol, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA‐S), and 17‐OH‐progesterone were determined in the breast cyst fluid of 54 women with gross cystic disease. No significant differences were found in the cystic levels of IL‐1 between cysts with intracystic K+/Na+ < 3 and > 3. However, in cysts with intracystic K+/Na+ > 3 we found a lower concentration of IL‐6 and TNF‐α than in those with intracystic K+/Na+ < 3.Stepwise multiple linear regression analysis demonstrated that the concentration of IL‐6 in breast cyst fluid was predicted statistically by a negative regression coefficient for the concentration of estradiol and DHEA‐S, and by a positive regression coefficient for the concentration of TNF‐α. The concentration of TNF‐α in breast cyst fluid was predicted statistically by a positive regression coefficient for the concentration of IL‐6, and by a negative regression coefficient for the concentration of estradiol. No candidate variable was included in the model to predict concentrations of IL‐1 in breast cyst fluid. Our results indicate that IL‐6 and TNF‐α could have a local ‘protector’ role in gross cystic disease, and that they could be used as a marker to identify cyst type.

breast cyst fluid gross disease IL‐1 IL‐6 TNF‐α 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alfonso Herruzo
    • 1
  • Jose Antonio Castilla
    • 2
  • Angel Ramírez
    • 3
  • Cristina Marcos
    • 4
  • Salomón Menjón
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology“Virgen de las Nieves” University HospitalGranadaSpain
  2. 2.Clinical Analysis Service“Virgen de las Nieves” University HospitalGranadaSpain
  3. 3.Nuclear Medicine Service“Virgen de las Nieves” University HospitalGranadaSpain
  4. 4.Pathological Anatomy Service“Virgen de las Nieves” University HospitalGranadaSpain

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