Background: It is well established that tumors are antigenic and can induce an immune response by the host, entailing lymphocytic infiltration of the tumor and surrounding stroma. The extent and composition of the immune response to the tumor, assessed through evaluation of tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte counts, has been shown in many studies to have prognostic and predictive value for invasive breast cancer, but currently, there is little evidence regarding the association between infiltrating immune cell counts (IICCs) in women with benign breast disease (BBD) and risk of subsequent invasive breast cancer. Methods: Using a cohort of 15,395 women biopsied for BBD at Kaiser Permanente Northwest, we conducted a nested case-control study in which cases were women who developed a subsequent invasive breast cancer during follow-up and controls were individually matched to cases on age at BBD diagnosis. We assessed IICCs in normal tissue and in the BBD lesions, and we used unconditional logistic regression to estimate the multivariable odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the associations between IICCs and breast cancer risk. Results: There was no association between the IICC in normal tissue (multivariable OR per 5% increase in IICC = 1.05, 95% CI = 0.96–1.16) or in the BBD lesion (OR per 5% increase in IICC = 1.06, 95% CI = 0.96–1.18) and risk of subsequent invasive breast cancer. Also, there were no associations within subgroups defined by menopausal status, BBD histology, BMI, and history of smoking. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that IICCs in BBD tissue are not associated with altered risk of subsequent invasive breast cancer.
- Benign breast disease
- Breast cancer
- Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research