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T Cell Elevation Linked With Fatigue in Breast Cancer Survivors

T Cell Elevation Linked With Fatigue in Breast Cancer Survivors

Sunday, August 17th 2003

Nearly one third of breast cancer survivors will develop persistent fatigue of unknown origin. Now, new study findings suggest that increased numbers of circulating T cells may play a role in this fatigue.

Previously, Dr. Julienne E. Bower, from the University of California at Los Angeles, and colleagues had shown that serum levels of several inflammatory markers are increased in breast cancer survivors with fatigue. The current findings add to this by showing that the T cell compartment is also involved.

"Many cancer patients get fatigue during treatment, but we decided to focus our research on those patients whose fatigue really doesn't improve after treatment has ended," Dr. Bower told Reuters Health. "Specifically, we've been interested in the role the immune system plays."

"In the first study, we focused on immune activity markers," Dr. Bower explained. "In the current one, we wanted to look more closely at the cellular immune system--specifically the T cell subset."

The results, which are published in the August 6th issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, are based on a study of 20 breast cancer survivors with fatigue and 19 matched survivors without fatigue.

Fatigued survivors had circulating T cell numbers that were 31% higher, on average, than those of non-fatigued survivors. The most pronounced elevations were seen with helper and effector T cells. In contrast, the two groups did not differ in the number of B cells, natural killer cells, granulocytes, and monocytes.

Interestingly, the rise in T cell numbers correlated with elevated levels of interleukin 1 receptor antagonist, an inflammatory marker linked to fatigue in the authors' earlier study.

"These data suggest that there may be some chronic subclinical inflammatory process, possibly driven by the T cell compartment," that mediates fatigue in these patients, Dr. Bower said.

The new findings, if verified, could have treatment implications. For example, current treatments that block inflammatory cytokines may represent a useful therapy for this type of fatigue, she added.

Dr. Bower said her group is currently involved in a study comparing fatigue in cancer survivors with fatigue in non-cancer patients. "We want to know if the fatigue looks different medically and immunologically."

J Natl Cancer Inst 2003;95:1165-1168

Footnote from Ideal Health:

The following products are all useful for Breast Cancer:

Carotenoid Complex
CoQ10 300mg + Vitamin D3
Enzogenol High Potency with ACE and Selenium
Esiak Caspules
Ezziak Tea
Good Green Stuff
Family C - 300 grams
Super Carotene
Clean Lean Protein
Ultimate Greens Capsules 120's

Related health information can be found here:

Acid and alkaline forming foods
Astra Forte
Bowel Cleanse
Co-enzyme Q10 is of fundamental importance for cellular energetics
DIM Plus to assist in cancer prevention
Green Tea as a medicinal beverage
Lyprinol - a Green Lipped Mussel extract to assist with arthritis
Nutrient use for specific cancers
Vitamin C is essential for fighting infections, wound healing and coping with stress

Related articles can be found here:

Breast Cancer Risk Not Increased Among Antihistamine Users
Current Combined HRT Use Doubles Risk of Breast Cancer
Fat Intake Linked to Breast Cancer in Premenopausal Women
Flawed Research Methods May Mask a Link Between Dietary Fat and Breast Cancer
Organic Ketchup Protects Against Cancer
Revised ACS Guidelines for Nutrition, Exercise for Cancer Survivors
Soy Protein With Isoflavones Has Favorable Effect on Lipids in Postmenopausal Women
T Cell Elevation Linked With Fatigue in Breast Cancer Survivors

If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.




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