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Brain Behav Immun. 2011 Oct;25(7):1376-83. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2011.04.001. Epub 2011 Apr 7.

Fatigued breast cancer survivors and gene polymorphisms in the inflammatory pathway.

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  • 1National Resource Center for Late Effects, Department of Oncology, Oslo University Hospital, Radiumhospitalet, Montebello, 0310 Oslo, Norway.


Chronic fatigue (CF) in breast cancer survivors (BCSs) has been associated with increased serum C-reactive protein-levels (CRP), pro-inflammatory cytokines and cytokine gene single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Still, there are few studies on these topics, and due to small study-cohorts the possibility to adjust for other conditions related to inflammatory processes, e.g. depression, has been limited. In 302 BCSs, examined approximately four years after treatment for breast cancer stage II/III, data on high sensitivity (hs)CRP, leukocytes and mRNA interleukin (IL)1β and IL6R expression, depression and chronic fatigue were available. Three years thereafter, 236 BCSs were re-examined. The associations between fatigue and SNPs in inflammation-related genes; IL1β (rs16944), IL6 (rs1800795), IL6receptor (rs4129267, rs4845617, rs2228145), CRP (rs2794521, rs3091244) were investigated, together with the relations between SNPs in IL6R,IL1β and CRP genes and mRNA blood expression levels of IL6R and IL1β and serum hsCRP-levels, respectively. All analyses were repeated after exclusion of depressed individuals and separating BCSs with persistent fatigue from never-fatigued individuals. Even after exclusion of depressed individuals neither the SNPs nor the mRNA IL1β and IL6R expression levels were associated with chronic or persistent fatigue. In the subset of persistent fatigued and never-fatigued individuals the CRP SNP (rs3091244) was associated with hsCRP level (p=0.02). IL1β and IL6R mRNA expression levels were not related to the IL1β and IL6R genotypes. In a large cohort of BCSs the investigated SNPs in inflammation-related genes were not associated with fatigue, though subset analyses indicated an association between the CRP SNP (rs3091244) and serum hsCRP.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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