Presurgical serum immunoglobulin concentrations and the prognosis of operable breast cancer in women

Dennis R. Ownby, Judith W. Bailey, Helen E. Ownby, James Frederick, Sam C. Brooks, Jose Russo, Gloria Heppner, Michael Brennan, Barbara Tilley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Serum concentrations of IgG, IgA, IgM, IgE, and allergen-specific IgE were measured in presurgical serum samples from 400 women admitted to a multidisciplinary study of primary breast cancer. The relationships between the serum immunoglobulins and patient survival were analyzed with the use of a Cox proportional hazards linear model. After adjustment for TNM stage, tumor histopathologic grade, and estrogen receptor (E2R) status, lower IgM concentrations were associated with longer survival. Lower IgE concentrations were also associated with longer survival, but only in patients whose tumors were E2R positive. IgG and IgA were not related to survival. Serum IgM and IgE concentrations, allergen-specific IgE scores, and the tumor E2R status were combined to construct a three-level risk classification that was more prognostic than any of the individual components. Cox model analysis demonstrated that this combination of immunologic and hormonal variables provided significant new information beyond that obtained from TNM staging and histopathologic grading of the tumors (P =.01). This new information may be useful to physicians in advising patients with primary, operable breast cancer about the relative risks and benefits of adjuvant therapy and in designing clinical trials of adjuvant therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-663
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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