Research Article| Volume 21, ISSUE 6, P748-753, November 2022

The comparison of transforming growth factor beta-1 serum levels in early-stage breast cancer patients treated with external beam whole breast irradiation plus boost versus interstitial brachytherapy accelerated partial breast irradiation

Published:September 24, 2022DOI:



      Transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1) is a profibrotic cytokine used as an early biomarker to develop radiation-induced fibrosis (RIF). This study aimed to compare TGF-β1 serum levels in early-stage breast cancer patients treated with whole-breast radiation therapy (WBRT) plus boost versus accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) using multicatheter interstitial brachytherapy.


      This clinical trial study was conducted on 20 women with early-stage breast cancer after breast-conserving surgery candidate for adjuvant radiotherapy in Golestan hospital, Ahvaz, in 2021. In one group APBI with high-dose-rate brachytherapy (n = 10), the other group WBRT with external beam radiation plus boost (n = 10) was performed. Serum level of TGF-β1 was evaluated before radiotherapy, immediately after the end of radiotherapy and three months after the end of radiotherapy by Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technique (ELISA).


      Median serum TGF-β1 level before radiotherapy was not significantly different between the two groups (p = 0.971). In both APBI and WBRT groups, serum TGF-β1 levels significantly decreased immediately after radiotherapy compared to before treatment (p = 0.005 and p = 0.007, respectively); But three months after radiotherapy, serum TGF-β1 levels increased significantly in the WBRT group (40.50 to 77.41 pg/mL; p = 0.017), while no significant change was observed in the APBI group (24.75 to 30.50 pg/mL; p = 0.332).


      Higher TGF-β1 values in the WBRT group after radiotherapy can be used as an early and vital biomarker in this treatment, and this data may corroborate links between TGF-beta1 and fibrosis and fibrosis rates between APBI and WBRT; It also shows the preference for using the brachytherapy technique in this group of patients. However, due to the small number of samples, definitive conclusions require further prospective studies.


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