BACKGROUND: Antibodies might protect against low doses of environmental carcinogens by decreasing systemic uptake, activation of metabolic pathways, and redistribution of carcinogens within the organism. The features of antibody formation in relation to environmental carcinogens and sex steroids under natural conditions should be determined to identify breast cancer risk, then to develop cancer immune prevention strategies.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to investigate antibodies specifications to benzo(a)pyrene, estradiol and progesterone in postmenopausal women with invasive breast cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A semi-quantitative non-competitive immunoassay of IgG antibodies to benzo(a)pyrene (IgG-Bp), estradiol (IgG-Es), and progesterone (IgG-Pg) has conducted. The assay has performed on 322 serum samples from patients with breast cancer and 179 serum samples from healthy postmenopausal women by using low-molecular-weight Bp, Es, and Pg conjugated with bovine serum albumin. ROC analysis has also conducted to determine the odds ratio (OR).
RESULTS: Combination of the high levels of IgG-Bp and IgG-Es without IpG-Pg was more frequent in breast cancer patients than that in healthy women, and the OR has increased to 3.8. Combination of the high levels of IgG-Pg with high levels of both IgG-Bp and IgG-Es were significantly more frequent in breast cancer patients (36.9%) than that in healthy women (5.6%), and the OR increased to 11.7. These differences have peculiarly expressed in breast cancer patients with hormone status ER+/PR- (OR = 26.7). The minimum OR (0.4) has obtained at low levels of the three antibodies.
CONCLUSIONS: Immunoassay of antibodies against environmental carcinogens and sex steroid hormones could use to detect breast cancer risk. Induction of antibodies against Bp for cancer immunoprevention could lead to antibody formation against steroid hormones, thereby increasing breast cancer risk.