Charles S. Carver

Jutagir, D. R., Blomberg, B. B., Carver, C. S., Lechner, S. C., Timpano, K. R., Bouchard, L. C., Gudenkauf, L. M., Jacobs, J. M., Diaz, A., Lutgendorf, S. K., Cole, S. W., Heller, A. S., & Antoni, M. H. (2017). Social well-being is associated with less pro-inflammatory and pro-metastatic gene expression in women after surgery for breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 165, 169-180.

Objectives: Satisfaction with social resources or "social well-being" relates to better adaptation and greater duration of survival after breast cancer diagnosis. Biobehavioral mechanisms linking social well-being (SWB) to mental and physical health may involve inflammatory signaling. We tested whether reports of greater SWB were associated with lower levels of pro-inflammatory and pro-metastatic leukocyte gene expression after surgery for early-stage breast cancer.

Design: Women diagnosed with early-stage (0 - III) breast cancer were enrolled 2 - 8 weeks after surgery. The Social/Family Well-Being subscale of the FACT-B assessed SWB. Microarray analysis quantified leukocyte gene expression for specific pro-inflammatory (cytokines, chemokines, and COX-2) and pro-metastatic genes (e.g., MMP-9).

Results: Multiple regression analyses controlling for age, stage of disease, days since surgery, education, and body mass index (BMI) found higher levels of SWB related to less leukocyte pro-inflammatory and pro-metastatic gene expression.

Conclusions: Results have implications for understanding mechanisms linking social resources to health-relevant biological processes in breast cancer patients undergoing primary treatment.

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