Objective: To monitor the immune function of thyroid cancer patients and analyze its clinicopathological correlation.
Methods: The distribution of circulating lymphocyte subpopulations and serum cytokine (IFN-γ, TNF-α, TGF-β, and IL-10) levels in 59 Papillary Thyroid Cancer (PTC) patients, 33 goiter patients, and 50 healthy controls were measured by flow cytometry and ELISA.
Results: The percentages of CD3+ T lymphocytes and CD3+CD4+/CD3+CD8+ ratio in PTC patients decreased obviously. While the percentages of CD4+CD25+CD127low Tregs in PTC patients increased apparently, but it had no relationship with clinical characteristics. Serum TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-10, but not TGF-β levels in PTC patients were significantly higher than that in healthy controls. The inclusion of these four cytokines improved the classification efficacy among the three groups.
Conclusion: It is apparent that the immune function is compromised in thyroid cancer patients. Combined detection of serum cytokines could help distinguish patients with thyroid disease and healthy individuals.