Th2/Th17 cell associated cytokines found in seroma fluids after breast cancer surgery

Nicole Pochert, Mariella Schneider, Melitta B. Köpke, Mathis Wild, Angelika Mattmer, Jacqueline Sagasser, Monika M. Golas, Maggie Banys-Paluchowski, Aline Metz, Christian Hinske, Matthias Reiger, Udo Jeschke, Christian Dannecker, Avidan Neumann, Claudia Traidl-Hoffmann, Michael Untch, Thorsten Kühn, Nina Ditsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: The development of a seroma after breast cancer surgery is a common postoperative complication seen after simple mastectomy and axillary surgery. We could recently demonstrate that breast cancer patients undergoing a simple mastectomy with subsequent seroma formation developed a T-helper cell increase within the aspirated fluid measured by flow cytometry. The same study revealed a Th2 and/or a Th17 immune response in peripheral blood and seroma fluid of the same patient. Based on these results and within the same study population, we now analyzed the Th2/Th17 cell associated cytokine content as well as the best known clinical important cytokine IL-6. Methods: Multiplex cytokine measurements (IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, IL-10, IL-17, and IL-22) were done on 34 seroma fluids (Sf) after fine needle aspiration of patients who developed a seroma after a simple mastectomy. Serum of the same patient (Sp) and that of healthy volunteers (Sc) were used as controls. Results: We found the Sf to be highly cytokine rich. Almost all analyzed cytokines were significantly higher in abundance in the Sf compared to Sp and Sc, especially IL-6, which promotes Th17 differentiation as well as suppresses Th1 differentiation in favor of Th2 development. Conclusion: Our Sf cytokine measurements reflect a local immune event. In contrast, former study results on T-helper cell populations in both Sf and Sp tend to demonstrate a systemic immune process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1621-1627
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • Cytokines
  • Seroma formation
  • Simple mastectomy
  • Th2/Th17 immune response


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