Proteomic profiling of the autoimmune response to breast cancer antigens uncovers a suppressive effect of hormone therapy.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Proteomics. Clinical applications, Volume 7, Issue 5-6, p.327-336 (2013)


2013, Center-Authored Paper, March 2013, Proteomics Core Facility, Public Health Sciences Division


PURPOSE: Proteomics technologies are well suited for harnessing the immune response to tumor antigens for diagnostic applications as in the case of breast cancer. We previously reported a substantial impact of hormone therapy (HT) on the proteome. Here we investigated the effect of HT on the immune response toward breast tumor antigens. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Plasmas collected 0-10 months prior to diagnosis of ER+ breast cancer from 190 post-menopausal women and 190 controls that participated in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Observational Study were analyzed for the effect of HT on IgG reactivity against arrayed proteins from MCF-7 or SKBR3 breast cancer cell line lysates following extensive fractionation. RESULTS: HT user cases exhibited significantly reduced autoantibody reactivity against arrayed proteins compared to cases who were not current users. An associated reduced level of IL-6 and other immune-related cytokines was observed among HT users relative to non-users. CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Our findings suggest occurrence of a global altered immune response to breast cancer derived proteins associated with HT. Thus a full understanding of factors that modulate the immune response is necessary to translate autoantibody panels into clinical applications.