African Journal of
Pharmacy and Pharmacology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pharm. Pharmacol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0816
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPP
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 2280

Full Length Research Paper

Immuno-stabilizing effect of thymosin-alpha-1 on post-modified radical mastectomy (MRM) of breast cancer patients

Danyang Dou1, Wanjun Tao1, Lingling Li1, Tingjian Jia1, Wings TY Loo2,3,4*, Mary NB Cheung3,4, Louis WC Chow3, Yiding Dou4 and Ziyuan Luo5
1Chengdu Family Planning Guidance Institute, Qingyang District, Chengdu, 610031, Sichuan Province, P. R. China. 2School of Chinese Medicine, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, P. R. China. 3UNIMED Medical Institute, Hng Kong. 4Jin Hua Dentistry, Chengdu, 610041, Sichuan Province, P. R. China. 5Department of Stomatology, Medical College of Jinan University, Guang Zhou, China.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 29 November 2011
  •  Published: 15 December 2011


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.