Systemic inflammation has been associated with aggressive tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis. Here we performed a comprehensive analysis of 26 kinds of inflammatory cytokine expression patterns among 185 patients with breast cancer and 54 healthy volunteers followed by chemometric analysis. We identified the specific cytokine expression patterns of breast cancer patients compared to healthy volunteers with (1) VEGF, IL-9, GM-CSF, IL-13, IL-4, and IFNγ, (2) IL-8, IL-10, IL-12, IL-5, IL-7, IL-1α, GCSF, IL-1β, and TNFα and (3) IL-2, Eotaxin, MIP1β, MIP1α, IL-17, and bFGF. Among the patients with breast cancer, we identified the specific cytokine signature of metastatic patients compared to non-metastatic patients. We also established a mathematical model for distinguishing patients with breast cancer from healthy volunteers and metastatic patients from non-metastatic patients. This cytokine network analysis could provide new insights into early intervention and effective therapeutic strategy for patients with breast cancer.
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