Objective: To determine the efficiency of granulocytes and monocytes upon radiotherapy in Saudi females with breast cancer.
Method: Samples from fifteen Saudi females with breast cancer and 30 control samples were included in this study. Functions of specific granulocytes and monocytes were examined by Phagotest, and data were analysed by FACS Calibur flow cytometer. These investigations were performed for control and patient groups after obtaining three different samples: pre-radiotherapy (pre-RT), immediately after completing the radiotherapy course, and six weeks following the completion of the radiotherapy course. Patients’ biochemical tests including those for blood sugar, total bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, aspartate transaminase, alanine transaminase, blood urea nitrogen, and creatinine levels, were assessed to evaluate their health status pre-RT. In addition, the correlation between each of the total doses and volume of an irradiated area with complete blood count (CBC) and the phagocytic functions of granulocytes and monocytes were studied.
Results: The following changes were observed: (1) at pre-RT baseline, the changes in CBC and monocytes’ phagocytic activities were non-significant; significant decrease was found in granulocytes’ phagocytic percentages and geographic mean (GMs); (2) at the end of RT, a significant reduction occurred in total white blood cell counts, platelets, lymphocytes count, and a significant increase in red blood cell counts, hemoglobin level, and granulocytes’ phagocytic GMs; (3) after 6 weeks, changes in CBC and phagocytic activities of granulocytes and monocytes were non-significant.
Conclusion: Saudi breast cancer patients might be at hematological and immunological risk following RT. Therefore, the follow-up of such patients needs to include the assessment of phagocytic activities besides CBC.