Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

The antigenic link between thyroid autoimmunity and breast cancer

Muller, Ilaria and Barrett-Lee, Peter J. 2020. The antigenic link between thyroid autoimmunity and breast cancer. Seminars in Cancer Biology 64 , pp. 122-134. 10.1016/j.semcancer.2019.05.013

[thumbnail of The antigenic link between thyroid autoimmunity and breast cancer I MULLER Sem Cancer Bio.pdf] PDF - Accepted Post-Print Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (1MB)


The association between breast cancer and benign thyroid disorders, in particular thyroid autoimmunity, has been debated for decades. Autoantibodies to thyroid peroxidase, the hallmark of thyroid autoimmunity, have a higher prevalence among patients with breast cancer compared with the general population. Furthermore a correlation between their positivity and a better prognosis of breast cancer was found in several independent small-scale studies, even if such observation was not confirmed in a subsequent retrospective study conducted on the largest patient cohort to date. The thyroid and mammary glands present several biological similarities, therefore the hypothesis of an immune response to shared thyroid/breast antigens could in part explain the association between thyroid autoimmunity and breast cancer. The sodium iodide symporter is expressed in both glands, however it seems unlikely to be the key common antigen, considering that autoantibodies targeting it are rare. Instead thyroid peroxidase, one of the major thyroid autoantigens, is also expressed in breast tissue and therefore represents the main antigenic link between thyroid autoimmunity and breast cancer. Furthermore lactoperoxidase, an enzyme of the same family that shares structural similarities with thyroid peroxidase, is expressed in neoplastic breast cells and is responsible for the cross-reactivity with some autoantibodies to thyroid peroxidase. Novel strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer might take advantage of the antigenic link between thyroid and breast tissues.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1044-579X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 June 2019
Date of Acceptance: 21 May 2019
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2020 10:47

Citation Data

Cited 4 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics