Assessing serum cytokine profiles in breast cancer patients receiving a HER2/neu vaccine using Luminex® technology

Zia A. Dehqanzada, Catherine E. Storrer, Matthew T. Hueman, Rebecca J. Foley, Katie A. Harris, Yusuf H. Jama, Craig D. Shriver, Sathibalan Ponniah, George E. Peoples*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


We used the Luminex assay to compare serum cytokine profiles of breast cancer patients (BCa) to healthy controls, node-positive (NP) patients to node-negative (NN), and pre- and post-vaccination serum of BCa vaccinated with a HER2/neu E75 peptide vaccine. Sera from 36 pre- and post-vaccination BCa, (12 NP and 24 NN) and 13 healthy, female donors, were evaluated using Luminex technology. Levels of 22 cytokines consisting of interleukin (IL)-1α, -1β, -2, -4, -5, -6, -7, -8, -10, -12, -13, -15, -17, IFN-γ, G-CSF, GM-CSF, TNF-α, IP-10, MIP-1α, RANTES, eotaxin and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) were assessed. Six of 22 cytokines showed significant differences between BCa and healthy controls. MCP-1, eotaxin, RANTES and GM-CSF levels were significantly elevated in BCa (P<0.009) and IL-1α and IL-4 levels were significantly decreased in BCa (P<0.015). Cytokine levels were generally elevated in NN patients compared to NP patients with the exception of eotaxin and IL-13, which were increased in NP patients. Three cytokines, IL-6, MIP-1 α and G-CSF reached statistical significance (P<0.05). In 34 vaccinated BCa, MCP-1, eotaxin and IL-13 were significantly elevated post-vaccination with MCP-1 demonstrating the most significant response (median, 145.8-217.0 pg/ml, P=0.003). Using a multiplex assay we found significant differences in cytokine levels in sera of BCa compared to healthy controls, in NN compared to NP patients, and in vaccinated patients. Our results support an extended analysis of serum cytokine profiles for the potential development of predictive panels in diagnosis, staging and monitoring cancer vaccine trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-694
Number of pages8
JournalOncology Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • HER2/neu E75-peptide vaccine
  • Luminex® multiplex assay
  • Serum cytokines


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