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ISRN Immunology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 453561, 5 pages
Clinical Study

Circulating CCL5 Levels in Patients with Breast Cancer: Is There a Correlation with Lymph Node Metastasis?

1Multidisciplinary Breast Center, KU Leuven, University Hospitals, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
2Department of Oncology, KU Leuven, Surgical Oncology, University Hospitals, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
3Laboratory of Experimental Oncology (LEO), Department of Oncology, KU Leuven and Department of General Medical Oncology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven Cancer Institute, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
4Interuniversity Institute for Biostatistics and Statistical Bioinformatics, KU Leuven, Kapucijnenvoer 35, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
5Department of Pathology, KU Leuven, University Hospitals, Minderbroederstraat 12, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

Received 26 March 2013; Accepted 8 May 2013

Academic Editors: S. Seki, A. Taylor-Robinson, and A. Vicente

Copyright © 2013 Ann Smeets et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


CC-chemokine ligand 5 (CCL5) was measured in plasma of 238 patients with breast cancer and in serum of 149 of these patients. Mean circulating CCL5 levels tended to be higher in patients with lymph-node-positive breast cancer, larger tumour sizes, the presence of lymphovascular invasion, and multifocal tumours. Additionally, circulating CCL5 levels were higher in the order of stages III, II, and I. The addition of circulating CCL5 concentration to known clinicopathological predictors for lymph node involvement did not allow more precise prediction of the lymph node status. These results suggest that CCL5 is a biomarker for tumour load rather than for lymph node involvement. As such, it might be helpful to identify patients with escape from immunosurveillance who will benefit from therapies to restore immune function.