ArticlesElevation of Plasma Prolactin in Patients Undergoing Autologous Blood Stem-Cell Transplantation for Breast Cancer Is Its Modulation a Step Toward Posttransplant Immunotherapy?Hinterberger-Fischer, Margareta, M.D.; Ogris, Emil, M.D.; Kier, Peter, M.D.; Bauer, Kurt, M.D.; Kittl, Eva, M.D.; Habertheuer, Karl-Heinz, M.D.; Ruckser, Reinhard, M.D.; Schmid, Alfons, M.D.; Selleny, Sabine, M.Ph.; Fangl, Michael, M.D.; Sebesta, Christian, M.D.; Hinterberger, Wolfgang, M.D.Author Information From the 2nd Department of Medicine (P.K., K-H.H., R.R., A.S., C.S., W.H.), Ludwig Boltzmann—Institute for Stem Cell Transplantation (M.H-F., S.S., M.F., W.H.), Department of Nuclear Medicine (E.O.), and Department of Laboratory Medicine (K.B., E.K.), Donauspital, Vienna, Austria. This study was supported by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Stem Cell Transplantation, Vienna, Austria. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Margareta Hinterberger-Fischer, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Stem Cell Transplantation, Donauspital, Langobardenstraβe 122, Vienna, Austria 1220. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org American Journal of Clinical Oncology: August 2000 - Volume 23 - Issue 4 - p 325-329 Buy Abstract Prolactin is a suspected promotor of breast cancer cell growth, and it shares pleiotropic immunoregulatory properties. We studied plasma prolactin and its drug-induced modulation in 20 women with breast cancer undergoing high-dose chemotherapy and autologous blood stem-cell transplantation. Plasma prolactin levels were serially assayed before and during conditioning and within and beyond 30 days after transplant. Before transplant, prolactin plasma levels were in the age-adjusted range of normal women. During conditioning and within 30 days after transplant, prolactin levels increased in all patients (p < 0.0001), but remained in the normal range. Antiemetic drugs such as metoclopramide and phenothiazines, known to enhance pituitary prolactin secretion, further elevated prolactin plasma levels (p < 0.00001). Patients remaining in continuous complete remission after transplant (median follow-up, 3 years) disclosed higher prolactin levels compared with those obtaining only partial remission or ensuing early relapse. Prolactin levels are regularly elevated during conditioning and within 30 days after autologous transplantation for breast cancer. Further elevations of prolactin plasma levels are induced by metoclopramide and other antiemetic drugs. Elevated plasma prolactin had no adverse effect on disease-free survival after transplant. We propose to investigate further the upregulation of prolactin after transplant aiming to induce a posttransplant consolidative immune reaction. © 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.