Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) is a multifunctional member of the TNF/TNFR cytokine family. It plays important role in inflammation, immunity and apoptosis, and in regard to cancer, TNF-α involves in the inflammatory network that contributes to all stages of the malignant process, stimulates cancer cells’ growth, proliferation, invasion and metastasis. As well TNF-α could be a target for cancer therapy.
Methodology: The aim of this study was to investigate the immunohistochemical (IHC) profiles of TNF-α of primary breast carcinomas in Iraqi women; and to assess the correlation of TNF-α expression and clinicopathological parameters including tumor stage, grade and lymph node metastasis.
Results: Of the 60 carcinomas studied, 88.33% were positive for TNF-α by IHC (P=<0.05). There was no significant correlation between TNF-α expression and tumor stage, grade, or nodal involvement.
Conclusion: TNF-α protein is strongly expressed in breast cancer and that positive expression of TNF-α may be independent from the grade and stage of tumor.
Keywords: Tumor necrosis factor alpha, Cytokines, Breast cancer, Immunohistochemistry