Alteration of Thyroid Function in Indian HER 2-Negative Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy

  • Ashif Khan, Mohd (Department of Pharmaceutical Medicine, Faculty of Pharmacy, Jamia Hamdard (Hamdard University)) ;
  • Bhurani, Dinesh (Hemato-Oncology Services & Senior Bone Marrow Transplant Specialist, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute & Research Centre) ;
  • Agarwal, Nidhi B (Centre for Translational & Clinical Research, Faculty of Science, Jamia Hamdard (Hamdard University))
  • Published : 2015.12.03


Background: Thyroid hormones (TH) are regulated by the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, which plays an important role in cell growth, differentiation, development and other aspects of metabolism. It is believed that an active hypothalamic-pituitary axis increases the susceptibility of thyroid dysfunction during systemic chemotherapy. In order to investigate the relation between thyroid function and chemotherapy the present study was designed to investigate TH in breast cancer patients receiving at least three cycles of chemotherapy. The levels of TH were measured at the baseline and before each cycle of chemotherapy. Materials and Methods: Blood samples for estimation of TH levels were collected from 80 (pre-menopausal-40; post-menopausal-40) breast cancer patients just before they were undergoing - $1^{st}$, $2^{nd}$, $3^{rd}$ and $4^{th}$ cycle of chemotherapy. The serum was separated and $T_3$, $T_4$ and TSH levels were determined by chemiluminescence method. Results: $T_3$ and $T_4$ were found significantly decreased and TSH was found significantly increased after $1^{st}$ (p<0.001), $2^{nd}$ (p<0.0001) and $3^{rd}$ cycle of chemotherapy (p<0.0001). The variation of $T_3$ levels (decreased) and TSH levels (increased) was found more in post-menopausal (p<0.0001) women then in pre-menopausal women after $3^{rd}$ cycle of chemotherapy as compared to baseline (p<0.001). Conclusions: TH were remarkably altered after each cycle of chemotherapy leading to decline in thyroid function of breast cancer patients. Further, the results also indicated that post-menopausal women were more prone towards decline in thyroid function then pre-menopausal women. The present study proposes the monitoring of TH after each cycle of chemotherapy in breast cancer patients.


Thyroid hormone;chemotherapy;breast cancer;subclinical hypothyroidism;menopause


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