Background: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. The occurrence of metastasis in breast cancer should be detected early. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) is involved in every step of the carcinogenesis process. A rise in TNF-α level is linked to the advancement of breast cancer. We aimed to determine the association between TNF-α levels and breast cancer metastases.
Methods: An analytic cross-sectional study was conducted on women with breast cancer treated at the Oncology Surgery Center between November 2021 and April 2022. The patient's data were collected from the medical record, including age, menopausal status, tumor size and lymph node involvement, and tumor subtype. The serum TNF-α level was measured using ELISA. The optimal cut-off value was determined using the receiver operating characteristics analysis. The association between serum TNF-α and the incidence of breast cancer metastases was analyzed using SPSS version 26 for Windows.
Results: We analyzed a total of 50 patients. The mean age was 48.8 ± 8.3 years. The serum TNF-α level was divided into high-TNF-α and low-TNF-α using a cut-off value of 22.755 pg/mL. There were 27 patients (27/50; 54.0%) with high serum TNF-α levels and 23 patients (23/50; 46.0%) with low TNF-α levels. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy were 73.9%, 63.0%, 63,0%, 73,9%, and 68%, respectively. There was a statistically significant association between serum TNF-α levels and metastatic breast cancer (p=0.009).
Conclusion: There was a significant association between TNF-α levels and metastatic breast cancer. Serum TNF-α may be a potential biomarker to detect metastasis in breast cancer patients.