1Department of Immunology and Cancer Research Center
2Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine
3Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz
4Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran
Background: Regulatory T cells (T-regs) have an important role in cancer by suppression of protective antitumor immune responses. Regulatory T cells express the forkhead/winged helix transcription factor (FOXP3) and OX40 molecules which have important regulatory roles in the immune system. Objective: To evaluate FOXP3 and OX40 transcripts in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of women with breast cancer. Methods: Blood samples from 40 women with histologically-confirmed infiltrating ductal carcinoma of the breast and 40 healthy volunteer women without a history of malignancy or autoimmune disorders were collected. The abundance of FOXP3 and OX40 gene transcripts were determined by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). Results: There was a significant positive correlation between FOXP3 and OX40 gene expression in women with breast cancer in a stage dependent manner. Conclusion: This finding emphasizes the importance of T-regs as predominant targets for breast cancer immunotherapy.