Thymosin-alpha-1 (Tα1), a synthetic thymus hormone, can increase the production of T cells. It may counteract the suppressed immunity of chemotherapy patients, thus restoring normal immune mechanism. This study aims to investigate the effect of thymosin-alpha-1 on the post-operation conditions of patients who have received modified radical mastectomy (MRM). Thirty-six consented patients with invasive breast ductal carcinoma (IDC) who were to receive MRM were randomly divided into two groups. One received hormonal therapy and the other received chemotherapy (four cycles of 5-fluorouracil, epirubicin and cyclophosphamide (FEC)) at least three weeks before surgery. Tα1 was administered in both groups, one day before surgery till day seven after surgery. Post-surgical inflammatory and metabolic responses (heart rate, wound area, body temperature, pain level, wound drainage and cytokine levels) were analyzed. Amount of drainage and cytokine levels did not show any significant difference between the groups. Temperature on Day 2 and the overall pain levels of the hormonal therapy group were significantly higher than that in the chemotherapy group. There was no significant difference in wound areas or heart rates between the two groups. Tα1 normalizes immune response parameters among chemotherapy patients to close-to-normal levels, while at the same time significantly depress level of pain, as compared to hormonal therapy-treated patients. Amount of drainage, heart rate and cytokine levels do not show any significant difference between the groups, indicating that Tα1 has normalized the metabolic and immune response of the chemotherapy patients.
Key words: Thymosin-alpha-1, invasive ductal carcinoma, modified radical mastectomy,adjuvant chemotherapy, adjuvant hormonal therapy.
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