Article Text

Clinical Implications of the Interleukin 27 Serum Level in Breast Cancer
  1. Dapeng Lu, MD*,
  2. Xiangyu Zhou, MD,
  3. Lutian Yao, MD,
  4. Caigang Liu, PhD*,
  5. Feng Jin, PhD*,
  6. Yunfei Wu, PhD*
  1. From the Departments of *Breast Surgery, †Hepatobilliary Surgery, and ‡Oncology Surgery, the First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China.
  1. Received April 30, 2013, and in revised form November 19, 2013.
  2. Accepted for publication December 7, 2013.
  3. Reprints: Yunfei Wu, PhD, Department of Breast Surgery, the First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, 155 Nanjing North St, Heping District, Shenyang 110001, People’s Republic of China. E-mail: wuyunfei860516{at}
  4. This study was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 81102029 and no .81172047).
  5. All authors have no actual or potential conflicts of interest with other people or organizations within 3 years of initiating the work presented here.


Introduction Interleukin 27 (IL-27), belonging to the IL-12 family, exerts a critical role in immune regulation of infection, autoimmunity, and tumor. In this study, we aimed to investigate the roles of IL-27 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in breast cancer.

Methods The serum levels of IL-27 and VEGF in 150 patients with breast cancer and 90 control subjects were measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and human epithelial growth factor receptor 2 were measured by immunohistochemistry. Clinical stage, tumor size, lymph node metastasis, grade, and histological type were also recorded.

Results The serum levels of IL-27 and VEGF were significantly greater in breast cancer patients than in the control group. In addition, there was a significant correlation between IL-27 and VEGF, and serum IL-27 and VEGF levels were associated with the clinical stage of breast cancer. Moreover, the serum levels of IL-27 were especially elevated in breast cancer patients who were estrogen receptor–positive and progesterone receptor–positive. Furthermore, the serum levels of IL-27 and VEGF decreased after patients with breast cancer had modified radical mastectomy.

Conclusion Interleukin 27 may be a new prognostic biomarker of breast cancer and a promising target to limit both angiogenesis and tumor growth.

Key Words
  • interleukin 27
  • vascular endothelial growth factor
  • breast cancer
  • prognostic biomarker

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