Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of procrsmedFormerly medchtJournal of the Royal Society of MedicineProceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine
Proc R Soc Med. 1977 March; 70(3): 195–199.
PMCID: PMC1542990

Calcium metabolism in breast cancer.


Patients with breast cancer and bone destruction were found to have a pattern of calcium metabolism which was broadly similar to that found in other malignancies, but different from that in primary hyperparathyroidism. Thus, they tended to have reduced absorption of calcium from the intestine, elevated endogenous faecal calcium and normal or reduced urinary cyclic AMP excretion. Since prostaglandin synthetase inhibitors have been shown to inhibit breast cancer-induced osteolysis in vitro we have attempted to reduce bone destruction and serum calcium in patients with hypercalcaemia complicating breast cancer using these agents. High doses failed to reduce the serum calcium or the urinary hydroxyproline: creatinine ratio in ten patients with skeletal metastases, four of whom had hypercalcaemia.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (816K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Brereton HD, Halushka PV, Alexander RW, Mason DM, Keiser HR, DeVita VT., Jr Indomethacin-responsive hypercalcemia in a patient with renal-cell adenocarcinoma. N Engl J Med. 1974 Jun 11;291(2):83–85. [PubMed]
  • Berson SA, Yalow RS. Clinical applications of radioimmunoassay of plasma parathyroid hormone. Am J Med. 1971 May;50(5):623–629. [PubMed]
  • Coombes RC, Hillyard C, Greenberg PB, MacIntyre I. Plasma-immunoreactive-calcitonin in patients with non-thyroid tumours. Lancet. 1974 Jun 1;1(7866):1080–1083. [PubMed]
  • Coombes RC, Neville AM, Bondy PK, Powles TJ. Failure of indomethacin to reduce hypercalcemia in patients with breast cancer. Prostaglandins. 1976 Dec;12(6):1027–1035. [PubMed]
  • Galasko CS, Burn JI. Hypercalcaemia in patients with advanced mammary cancer. Br Med J. 1971 Sep 4;3(5774):573–577. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • LASZLO D, SCHULMAN CA, BELLIN J, GOTTESMAN ED, SCHILLING A. Mineral and protein metabolism in osteolytic metastases. J Am Med Assoc. 1952 Mar 22;148(12):1027–1032. [PubMed]
  • Melvin KE, Hepner GW, Bordier P, Neale G, Joplin GF. Calcium metabolism and bone pathology in adult coeliac disease. Q J Med. 1970 Jan;39(153):83–113. [PubMed]
  • PROCKOP DJ, UDENFRIEND S. A specific method for the analysis of hydroxyproline in tissues and urine. Anal Biochem. 1960 Nov;1:228–239. [PubMed]
  • Powles TJ, Clark SA, Easty DM, Easty GC, Neville AM. The inhibition by aspirin and indomethacin of osteolytic tumor deposits and hypercalcaemia in rats with Walker tumour, and its possible application to human breast cancer. Br J Cancer. 1973 Oct;28(4):316–321. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Powles TJ, Leese CL, Bondy PK. Hydroxyproline excretion in patients with breast cancer and response to treatment. Br Med J. 1975 Apr 26;2(5964):164–166. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Reiner M, Nadarajah A, Leese B, Joplin GF. Measurement of calcium absorption by a double isotope method in patients with disorders of calcium metabolism. Calcif Tissue Res. 1970;(Suppl):95–95. [PubMed]
  • Seyberth HW, Segre GV, Morgan JL, Sweetman BJ, Potts JT, Jr, Oates JA. Prostaglandins as mediators of hypercalcemia associated with certain types of cancer. N Engl J Med. 1975 Dec 18;293(25):1278–1283. [PubMed]

Articles from Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine are provided here courtesy of Royal Society of Medicine Press