INTRODUCTION: It has been suggested that age could influence the treatment-induced side effects and survival time of cancer patients. The influence of age on blood-based biomarkers, acute radiation skin reactions (ARSRs), and survival time of breast cancer patients was analysed.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two hundred ninety-three individuals, 119 breast cancer patients, and 174 healthy blood donors were included.
RESULTS: Before radiotherapy (RT), decreased levels of lymphocytes, interleukin 2, platelet-derived growth factors, and tumour necrosis factor but increased levels of monocyte-to-lymphocyte ratio, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, C-reactive protein, and macrophage inflammatory protein 1b (MIP1b) were detected in the patient group. All of the patients developed ARSRs and intensity of ARSRs was inversely related to the MIP1b level before RT. Fifteen out of 119 (13%) patients deceased during follow-up time. No influence of age (≤50 compared to >50 years) on survival time was detected (p = 0.442). Tumour recurrence, found in 11 out of 119 (9%) patients, had impact on survival time of these patients (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: The level of circulating MIP1b before RT was associated with intensity of ARSRs. Tumour recurrence, but not age, was associated with poor survival time. Analysis of circulating MIP1b was low cost, rapid, and could be done in routine laboratory facility. Since RT almost always induces ARSRs, the possibility of using MIP1b as a prognostic biomarker for ARSRs is of interests for further investigation.