Background: Thyroid hormones (TH) are regulated by the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, which plays an important role in cell growth, differentiation, development and other aspects of metabolism. It is believed that an active hypothalamic-pituitary axis increases the susceptibility of thyroid dysfunction during systemic chemotherapy. In order to investigate the relation between thyroid function and chemotherapy the present study was designed to investigate TH in breast cancer patients receiving at least three cycles of chemotherapy. The levels of TH were measured at the baseline and before each cycle of chemotherapy. Materials and
Methods: Blood samples for estimation of TH levels were collected from 80 (pre-menopausal-40; post-menopausal-40) breast cancer patients just before they were undergoing - 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th cycle of chemotherapy. The serum was separated and T3, T4 and TSH levels were determined by chemiluminescence method.
Results: T3 and T4 were found significantly decreased and TSH was found significantly increased after 1st (p<0.001), 2nd (p<0.0001) and 3rd cycle of chemotherapy (p<0.0001). The variation of T3 levels (decreased) and TSH levels (increased) was found more in post-menopausal (p<0.0001) women then in pre-menopausal women after 3rd cycle of chemotherapy as compared to baseline (p<0.001).
Conclusions: TH were remarkably altered after each cycle of chemotherapy leading to decline in thyroid function of breast cancer patients. Further, the results also indicated that postmenopausal women were more prone towards decline in thyroid function then pre-menopausal women. The present study proposes the monitoring of TH after each cycle of chemotherapy in breast cancer patients.