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01.12.2017 | Primary Research | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Cancer Cell International 1/2017

Study of the tumor microenvironment during breast cancer progression

Cancer Cell International > Ausgabe 1/2017
Rahil Eftekhari, Rezvan Esmaeili, Reza Mirzaei, Katayoon Bidad, Stacy de Lima, Maryam Ajami, Hedayatollah Shirzad, Jamshid Hadjati, Keivan Majidzadeh-A



Different cells and mediators in the tumor microenvironment play important roles in the progression of breast cancer. The aim of this study was to determine the composition of the microenvironment during tumor progression in order to discover new related biomarkers and potentials for targeted therapy.


In this study, breast cancer biopsies from four different stages, and control breast biopsies were collected. Then, the mRNA expression of several markers related to different CD4+ T cell subsets including regulatory T cells (Treg), T helper (Th) type 1, 2 and 17 were determined. In addition, we investigated the expression of two inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL-6) and inflammatory mediators including FASL, IDO, SOCS1, VEGF, and CCR7.


The results showed that the expression of Th1 and Th17 genes was decreased in tumor tissues compared to control tissues. In addition, we found that the gene expression related to these two cell subsets decreased during cancer progression. Moreover, the expression level of TNF-α increased with tumor progression.


We conclude that the expression of genes related to immune response and inflammation is different between tumor tissues and control tissues. In addition, this difference was perpetuated through the different stages of cancer.
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