Inflammatory cytokines and distant recurrence in HER2-negative early breast cancer

Joseph A. Sparano, Anne O’Neill, Noah Graham, Donald W. Northfelt, Chau T. Dang, Antonio C. Wolff, George W. Sledge, Kathy D. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Systemic inflammation is believed to contribute to the distant recurrence of breast cancer. We evaluated serum samples obtained at diagnosis from 249 case:control pairs with stage II-III Her2-negative breast cancer with or without subsequent distant recurrence. Conditional logistic regression analysis, with models fit via maximum likelihood, were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and test for associations of cytokines with distant recurrence risk. The only biomarker associated with a significantly increased distant recurrence risk when adjusted for multiple testing was the proinflammatory cytokine IL-6 (HR 1.37, 95% confidence intervals [CI] 1.15, 1.65, p = 0.0006). This prospective-retrospective study provides evidence indicating that higher levels of the cytokine IL-6 at diagnosis are associated with a significantly higher distant recurrence risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16
Journalnpj Breast Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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