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1.  Abnormal Expression of Serum Soluble E-Cadherin is Correlated with Clinicopathological Features and Prognosis of Breast Cancer 
Background
Increased amounts of soluble E-cadherin (E-cad) have been found in the serum in various cancers, but the role of serum soluble E-cad in the prognosis of breast cancer patients has not been explored in Asian populations.
Material/Method
Blood samples from 111 consecutive patients diagnosed with breast cancer and 55 healthy controls were investigated. Serum soluble E-cad expression levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with an immunoassay kit according to the manufacturer’s directions. Kaplan-Meier analyses were used to evaluate the association between serum soluble E-cad expression level and survival. All statistical tests were 2-sided.
Results
The serum levels of soluble E-cad in breast cancer patients were significantly higher than those of the control group (2218.9±319.6 ng/ml vs. 742.8±91.7 ng/ml, p<0.001). Serum levels of soluble E-cad correlated significantly with TNM stage (P=0.007), tumor grade (P=0.03), and lymph node metastasis (P<0.001). Kaplan-Meier analysis with the log-rank test indicated that high serum levels of soluble E-cad had a significant impact on overall survival (55.4% vs. 81.4%; P=0.032) and disease-free survival (36.8% vs. 67.8%; P=0.002) in breast cancer. Multivariate analysis revealed that serum levels of soluble E-cad were independently associated with overall survival and disease-free survival in breast cancer patients.
Conclusions
Serum soluble E-cad level is an independent prognostic factor in Asian breast cancer patients.
doi:10.12659/MSM.892049
PMCID: PMC4280058  PMID: 25553984
Biological Markers; Breast Neoplasms; Cadherins; Prognosis
2.  Implication of Progranulin and C1q/TNF-Related Protein-3 (CTRP3) on Inflammation and Atherosclerosis in Subjects with or without Metabolic Syndrome 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e55744.
Objective
Progranulin and C1q/TNF-related protein-3 (CTRP3) were recently discovered as novel adipokines which may link obesity with altered regulation of glucose metabolism, chronic inflammation and insulin resistance.
Research Design and Methods
We examined circulating progranulin and CTRP3 concentrations in 127 subjects with (n = 44) or without metabolic syndrome (n = 83). Furthermore, we evaluated the relationship of progranulin and CTRP3 levels with inflammatory markers and cardiometabolic risk factors, including high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), and adiponectin serum concentrations, as well as carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT).
Results
Circulating progranulin levels are significantly related with inflammatory markers, hsCRP (r = 0.30, P = 0.001) and IL-6 (r = 0.30, P = 0.001), whereas CTRP3 concentrations exhibit a significant association with cardiometabolic risk factors, including waist circumference (r = −0.21), diastolic blood pressure (r = −0.21), fasting glucose (r = −0.20), triglyceride (r = −0.34), total cholesterol (r = −0.25), eGFR (r = 0.39) and adiponectin (r = 0.26) levels. Serum progranulin concentrations were higher in patients with metabolic syndrome than those of the control group (199.55 [179.33, 215.53] vs. 185.10 [160.30, 204.90], P = 0.051) and the number of metabolic syndrome components had a significant positive correlation with progranulin levels (r = 0.227, P = 0.010). In multiple regression analysis, IL-6 and triglyceride levels were significant predictors of serum progranulin levels (R2 = 0.251). Furthermore, serum progranulin level was an independent predictor for increased CIMT in subjects without metabolic syndrome after adjusting for other cardiovascular risk factors (R2 = 0.365).
Conclusions
Serum progranulin levels are significantly associated with systemic inflammatory markers and were an independent predictor for atherosclerosis in subjects without metabolic syndrome.
Trial Registration
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01668888
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0055744
PMCID: PMC3567086  PMID: 23409033
3.  Serum Progranulin Concentrations May Be Associated With Macrophage Infiltration Into Omental Adipose Tissue 
Diabetes  2009;58(3):627-636.
OBJECTIVE—Progranulin is an important molecule in inflammatory response. Chronic inflammation is frequently associated with central obesity and associated disturbances; however, the role of circulating progranulin in human obesity, type 2 diabetes, and dyslipidemia is unknown.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—For the measurement of progranulin serum concentrations, we developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Using this ELISA, we assessed circulating progranulin in a cross-sectional study of 209 subjects with a wide range of obesity, body fat distribution, insulin sensitivity, and glucose tolerance and in 60 individuals with normal (NGT) or impaired (IGT) glucose tolerance or type 2 diabetes before and after a 4-week physical training program. Progranulin mRNA and protein expression was measured in paired samples of omental and subcutaneous adipose tissue (adipocytes and cells of the stromal vascular fraction) from 55 lean or obese individuals. Measurement of Erk activation and chemotactic activity induced by progranulin in vitro was performed using THP-1–based cell migration assays.
RESULTS—Progranulin serum concentrations were significantly higher in individuals with type 2 diabetes compared with NGT and in obese subjects with predominant visceral fat accumulation. Circulating progranulin significantly correlates with BMI, macrophage infiltration in omental adipose tissue, C-reactive protein (CRP) serum concentrations, A1C values, and total cholesterol. Multivariable linear regression analyses revealed CRP levels as the strongest independent predictor of circulating progranulin. The extent of in vitro progranulin-mediated chemotaxis is similar to that of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 but independent of Gα. Moreover, in type 2 diabetes, but not in IGT and NGT individuals, physical training for 4 weeks resulted in significantly decreased circulating progranulin levels.
CONCLUSIONS—Elevated progranulin serum concentrations are associated with visceral obesity, elevated plasma glucose, and dyslipidemia. We identified progranulin as a novel marker of chronic inflammation in obesity and type 2 diabetes that closely reflects omental adipose tissue macrophage infiltration. Physical training significantly reduces elevated circulating progranulin in patients with type 2 diabetes.
doi:10.2337/db08-1147
PMCID: PMC2646061  PMID: 19056610
4.  Progranulin is expressed within motor neurons and promotes neuronal cell survival 
BMC Neuroscience  2009;10:130.
Background
Progranulin is a secreted high molecular weight growth factor bearing seven and one half copies of the cysteine-rich granulin-epithelin motif. While inappropriate over-expression of the progranulin gene has been associated with many cancers, haploinsufficiency leads to atrophy of the frontotemporal lobes and development of a form of dementia (frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin positive inclusions, FTLD-U) associated with the formation of ubiquitinated inclusions. Recent reports indicate that progranulin has neurotrophic effects, which, if confirmed would make progranulin the only neuroprotective growth factor that has been associated genetically with a neurological disease in humans. Preliminary studies indicated high progranulin gene expression in spinal cord motor neurons. However, it is uncertain what the role of Progranulin is in normal or diseased motor neuron function. We have investigated progranulin gene expression and subcellular localization in cultured mouse embryonic motor neurons and examined the effect of progranulin over-expression and knockdown in the NSC-34 immortalized motor neuron cell line upon proliferation and survival.
Results
In situ hybridisation and immunohistochemical techniques revealed that the progranulin gene is highly expressed by motor neurons within the mouse spinal cord and in primary cultures of dissociated mouse embryonic spinal cord-dorsal root ganglia. Confocal microscopy coupled to immunocytochemistry together with the use of a progranulin-green fluorescent protein fusion construct revealed progranulin to be located within compartments of the secretory pathway including the Golgi apparatus. Stable transfection of the human progranulin gene into the NSC-34 motor neuron cell line stimulates the appearance of dendritic structures and provides sufficient trophic stimulus to survive serum deprivation for long periods (up to two months). This is mediated at least in part through an anti-apoptotic mechanism. Control cells, while expressing basal levels of progranulin do not survive in serum free conditions. Knockdown of progranulin expression using shRNA technology further reduced cell survival.
Conclusion
Neurons are among the most long-lived cells in the body and are subject to low levels of toxic challenges throughout life. We have demonstrated that progranulin is abundantly expressed in motor neurons and is cytoprotective over prolonged periods when over-expressed in a neuronal cell line. This work highlights the importance of progranulin as neuroprotective growth factor and may represent a therapeutic target for neurodegenerative diseases including motor neuron disease.
doi:10.1186/1471-2202-10-130
PMCID: PMC2779192  PMID: 19860916
5.  Serum Levels of the Adipokine Progranulin Depend on Renal Function 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(2):410-414.
OBJECTIVE
Progranulin has recently been introduced as a novel adipokine inducing insulin resistance and obesity. In the current study, we investigated renal elimination, as well as association of the adipokine with markers of the metabolic syndrome.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Progranulin serum levels were quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and correlated to anthropometric and biochemical parameters of renal function and glucose and lipid metabolism, as well as inflammation, in 532 patients with stages 1–5 of chronic kidney disease (CKD).
RESULTS
Median serum progranulin levels adjusted for age, sex, and BMI were significantly different between CKD stages with highest values detectable in stage 5 (stage 1, 58.3 µg/L; stage 2, 63.0 µg/L; stage 3, 65.4 µg/L; stage 4, 68.8 µg/L; and stage 5, 90.6 µg/L). Furthermore, CKD stage was the strongest independent predictor of circulating progranulin in our cohort. In addition, high-sensitivity interleukin-6 and adiponectin remained significantly and independently correlated with the adipokine.
CONCLUSIONS
We demonstrate that progranulin serum levels increase with deteriorating renal function. These findings are in accordance with the hypothesis that renal clearance is a major elimination route for circulating progranulin. Furthermore, the adipokine is positively and independently associated with markers of inflammation and adiponectin.
doi:10.2337/dc12-0220
PMCID: PMC3554312  PMID: 23033238
6.  Autoantibodies to endostatin in patients with breast cancer: correlation to endostatin levels and clinical outcome 
British Journal of Cancer  2006;94(7):1066-1070.
Circulating autoantibodies to self-antigens overexpressed by cancer cells are common in cancer patients. As specific proteins are expressed during neoangiogenesis, a similar phenomenon might occur with particular antigens of tumour vessels. Collagen XVIII, from which endostatin is cleaved, is highly expressed in the perivascular basement membrane of tumour-associated blood vessels and autoantibodies to endostatin have been reported in cancer patients. The present study analyses the incidence of naturally occurring autoantibodies to endostatin in the sera of breast cancer patients and their relation to endostatin serum levels and patient clinical outcome. Serum samples from 36 patients with localised breast cancer and 59 patients with a fully documented history of metastatic breast cancer were used. The immunoreactivity of serum samples was tested against purified recombinant human endostatin and endostatin levels were determined by immunoassay. We could detect anti-endostatin antibodies in the sera of 66% of the patients with localised disease and 42% of the patients with metastatic disease (P=0.03). There was no correlation between the presence of antibodies to endostatin and circulating levels of endostatin. The detection of autoantibodies to endostatin was associated with better prognosis in metastatic breast cancer patients (median survival time: 20 vs 8 months, P=0.03), as was the presence of low levels of serum endostatin (median survival time: 20 vs 9 months, P=0.007). These results show that a natural immune reaction against endostatin can occur in breast cancer patients. This could have important therapeutic implications with regard to endostatin therapy and raises the question of a possible role of this humoral reaction against endostatin in the neoplastic process.
doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6603037
PMCID: PMC2361231  PMID: 16552441
collagen XVIII; endostatin; autoantibodies
7.  High CRP values predict poor survival in patients with penile cancer 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:223.
Background
High levels of circulating C-reactive protein (CRP) have recently been linked to poor clinical outcome in various malignancies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic significance of the preoperative serum CRP level in patients with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the penis.
Methods
This retrospective analysis included 79 penile cancer patients with information about their serum CRP value prior to surgery who underwent either radical or partial penectomy at two German high-volume centers (Ulm University Medical Center and Hannover Medical School) between 1990 and 2010. They had a median (mean) follow-up of 23 (32) months.
Results
A significantly elevated CRP level (>15 vs. ≤ 15 mg/l) was found more often in patients with an advanced tumor stage (≥pT2) (38.9 vs. 11.6%, p=0.007) and in those with nodal disease at diagnosis (50.0 vs. 14.6%, p=0.007). However, high CRP levels were not associated with tumor differentiation (p=0.53). The Kaplan-Meier 5-year cancer-specific survival (CSS) rate was 38.9% for patients with preoperative CRP levels above 15 mg/l and 84.3% for those with lower levels (p=0.001). Applying multivariate analysis and focusing on the subgroup of patients without metastasis at the time of penile surgery, both advanced local tumor stage (≥pT2; HR 8.8, p=0.041) and an elevated CRP value (>15 mg/l; HR 3.3, p=0.043) were identified as independent predictors of poor clinical outcome in patients with penile cancer.
Conclusions
A high preoperative serum CRP level was associated with poor survival in patients with penile cancer. If larger patient populations confirm its prognostic value, its routine use could enable better risk stratification and risk-adjusted follow-up of patients with SCC of the penis.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-223
PMCID: PMC3649950  PMID: 23642165
SCC; Penis; Penile cancer; Biomarker; C-reactive protein; Prognosis; Survival
8.  Apoptosis-related deregulation of proteolytic activities and high serum levels of circulating nucleosomes and DNA in blood correlate with breast cancer progression 
BMC Cancer  2011;11:4.
Background
As cell-free circulating DNA exists predominantly as mono- and oligonucleosomes, the focus of the current study was to examine the interplay of circulating nucleosomes, DNA, proteases and caspases in blood of patients with benign and malignant breast diseases.
Methods
The concentrations of cell-free DNA and nucleosomes as well as the protease and caspase activities were measured in serum of patients with benign breast disease (n = 20), primary breast cancer (M0, n = 31), metastatic breast cancer (M1, n = 32), and healthy individuals (n = 28) by PicoGreen, Cell Death Detection ELISA, Protease Fluorescent Detection Kit and Caspase-Glo®3/7 Assay, respectively.
Results
Patients with benign and malignant tumors had significantly higher levels of circulating nucleic acids in their blood than healthy individuals (p = 0.001, p = 0.0001), whereas these levels could not discriminate between benign and malignant lesions. Our analyses of all serum samples revealed significant correlations of circulating nucleosome with DNA concentrations (p = 0.001), nucleosome concentrations with caspase activities (p = 0.008), and caspase with protease activities (p = 0.0001). High serum levels of protease and caspase activities associated with advanced tumor stages (p = 0.009). Patients with lymph node-positive breast cancer had significantly higher nucleosome levels in their blood than node-negative patients (p = 0.004). The presence of distant metastases associated with a significant increase in serum nucleosome (p = 0.01) and DNA levels (p = 0.04), and protease activities (p = 0.008).
Conclusion
Our findings demonstrate that high circulating nucleic acid concentrations in blood are no indicators of a malignant breast tumor. However, the observed changes in apoptosis-related deregulation of proteolytic activities along with the elevated serum levels of nucleosomes and DNA in blood are linked to breast cancer progression.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-4
PMCID: PMC3024991  PMID: 21211028
9.  Transforming Growth Factor Beta-1 (TGF-β1) is a Serum Biomarker of Radiation Induced Fibrosis in Patients Treated with Intracavitary Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (IBAPBI): Preliminary Results of a Prospective Study 
Purpose
To examine a relationship between serum transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1) values and radiation induced fibrosis (RIF).
Methods
We conducted a prospective analysis of development of RIF in 38 women with AJCC Stage 0-I breast cancer treated with lumpectomy and accelerated partial breast irradiation via interstitial brachytherapy (IBAPBI). An ELISA (Quantikine ®, R&D, MN) immunoassay was used to measure serum TGF-β1 pre-surgery, pre- IBAPBI, and during IBAPBI. Blood samples for TGF-β1 were also collected from 15 healthy, non-treated women (controls). The previously validated tissue compliance meter (TCM) was used to objectively assess radiation-induced fibrosis (RIF).
Results
Median time to follow-up for 38 patients is 44 months (range, 5 – 59 months). RIF is graded by the TCM scale as 0, 1, 2 and 3 in 5/20 (25%), 6/20 (30%), 5/20 (25%) and 4/20 (20%) patients, respectively. ΔTCM ≥6mm (moderate-to-severe RIF) is statistically different from ΔTCM ≤3mm (none-to-mild RIF) (p<0.05). Mean serum TGF-β1 values are significantly higher in patients pre-surgery than disease-free controls in: a) all cancer patients (30,201 ± 5,889 pg/ml, p=0.02), b) patients with any type of RIF (32,273 ± 5,016 pg/ml, p<0.0001) and c) women with moderate-to-severe RIF (34,462 ± 4,713 pg/ml, p<0.0001). The post-IBAPBI mean serum TGF-β1 is 21,915pg/ml in patients with ΔTCM ≥6mm (moderate-severe RIF). This is significantly higher than the mean serum TGF-β1, 14,940pg/ml, in patients with ΔTCM ≤3mm (p = 0.036). In patients who develop moderate-to-severe RIF, pre-IAPBI mean TGF-β1 values are also predictive of this sequela (17,885 ± 3,952 pg/ml, p=0.007).
Conclusions
TGF-β1 levels correlate with development of moderate-to-severe RIF. The pre-IBAPBI mean TGF-β1 levels can serve as an early biomarker for development of moderate-to-severe RIF after IBAPBI
doi:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2013.08.045
PMCID: PMC4104525  PMID: 24139518
transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1); radiation induced fibrosis (RIF); tissue compliance meter (TCM); breast cancer; accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI); radiation side effects
10.  Serum soluble ST2 is associated with ER-positive breast cancer 
BMC Cancer  2014;14:198.
Background
ST2, a member of the interleukin (IL)-1receptor family, regulates Th1/Th2 immune responses in autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. However, the role of ST2 signaling in tumor growth and metastasis of breast cancers has not been investigated. This study investigated the possible role of soluble ST2 (sST2) in breast cancer.
Methods
The serum levels of IL-33, sST2, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in 150 breast cancer patients and 90 healthy women were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Estrogen receptor(ER), progesterone receptor, human epithelial receptor (HER)-2, and cell cycle regulated protein Ki-67 were measured. Clinical stage, tumor size, lymph node metastasis, and histological type were also recorded.
Results
The serum levels of sST2, IL-33, and VEGF were significantly higher in breast cancer patients than in the control group (P < 0.05, each). Serum sST2 levels in ER-positive breast cancer patients were significantly associated with age, histological type, clinical stage, tumor size, and Ki-67 status (P < 0.05, each). Moreover, the serum levels of IL-33 and sST2 in breast cancers significantly correlated with VEGF levels (IL-33: r = 0.375, P < 0.0001; sST2: r = 0.164, P = 0.045). Serum levels of sST2, IL-33, and VEGF decreased after modified radical mastectomy in ER-positive breast cancers. Serum levels of IL-33, sST2, and VEGF and clinicopathological factors were not significantly correlated with disease-free survival and overall survival of ER-positive breast cancer women during follow-up.
Conclusion
Serum sST2 levels in ER-positive breast cancer patients are significantly associated with factors that indicate poor prognosis.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-198
PMCID: PMC3995159  PMID: 24636276
Soluble ST2, sST2; Interleukin-33, IL-33; Vascular endothelial growth factor, VEGF; Breast cancer
11.  Detection of Circulating Anti-Mucin 1 (MUC1) Antibodies in Breast Tumor Patients by Indirect Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay Using a Recombinant MUC1 Protein Containing Six Tandem Repeats and Expressed in Escherichia coli▿  
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology : CVI  2010;17(12):1903-1908.
Mucin 1 (MUC1), a tumor-associated antigen, is a transmembrane glycoprotein expressed by normal epithelial cells and overexpressed by carcinomas of epithelial origin. Autoantibodies against MUC1 are often found in circulation, either free or bound to immune complexes, which might contribute to limit tumor outgrowth and dissemination by antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity, and were found favorably predictive of survival in early breast cancer patients. There is no commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit for detecting the anti-MUC1 antibodies in human serum thus far. To detect circulating anti-MUC1 antibodies, we established an indirect ELISA (I-ELISA) using a recombinant MUC1 protein containing six tandem repeat sequences of MUC1 after the antigenicity and specificity of the protein were confirmed. The I-ELISA had a sensitivity of 91.3% and a specificity of 94.1% when a competitive I-ELISA was used as a reference test. The results showed that more patients with benign breast tumors (P = 0.001) and breast cancer patients before primary treatment (P = 0.010) were found to have anti-MUC1 IgG than healthy women; anti-MUC1 IgG before primary treatment was found more than after primary treatment (P = 0.016) in breast cancer patients. Interestingly, the anti-MUC1 IgG serum level was reversely correlated to that of CA15-3 antigen in advanced-stage patients (r = −0.4294, P = 0.046). Our study has demonstrated the suitability of the established I-ELISA for detecting circulating anti-MUC1 antibodies in human serum. Furthermore, we found that circulating anti-MUC1 antibodies may still bind MUC1 shed into blood in stage IV breast cancer, which can support the use of MUC1-target immune therapy strategies.
doi:10.1128/CVI.00142-10
PMCID: PMC3008176  PMID: 20876819
12.  P53 autoantibodies in 1006 patients followed up for breast cancer 
Breast Cancer Research : BCR  2000;2(6):438-443.
Serial plasma samples from 1006 patients with breast cancer revealed: (i) no correlation of p53 autoantibody status with disease status at the time of sample collection, or with menopausal status at time of primary diagnosis of breast cancer; (ii) 155 out of 1006 (15%) of patients were positive for p53 autoantibodies, and these patients tended to have a persistent autoantibody status throughout follow up, irrespective of disease behaviour; and (iii) where a negative autoantibody status was found at primary diagnosis of breast cancer, this negative status persisted throughout follow up, irrespective of later disease behaviour. We conclude that screening for p53 autoantibody status is not informative on residual tumour activity nor on therapeutic responsiveness.
Introduction:
Dysfunction of the tumour-suppressor protein, p53, may be due to either mutational or epigenetic factors, each of which may lead to accumulation of cytoplasmic p53. Abnormal accumulation of p53 in breast cancer tissue is predictive of poor prognosis [1,2]. Humoral studies [3,4] have shown that cancer patients may develop immunity to abnormally expressed p53, as revealed by p53 autoantibodies in the blood. Again, prognostic correlates have been noted, with presence of circulating p53 autoantibodies at diagnosis of breast cancer being associated with reduced overall survival [5,6] and with poor prognostic factors such as high histological grade and the absence of hormone receptors [5,7,8].
Little is known of the potential value of p53 autoantibody in follow up of cancer. In lung cancer there is evidence that autoantibodies to p53 may provide a useful tool to monitor response to therapy [9,10], whereas serial measurements of autoantibodies to p53 in 40 patients with advanced ovarian cancer were not found to be clinically useful [11]. In breast cancer some 30% of node-negative patients will relapse within 5 years, but there is no current means to predict those who are at risk.
We performed the present study to ask if the presence of autoantibodies to p53 has any association with breast cancer progression.
Materials and method:
A library of plasma samples were collected from all patients attending one general oncology clinic for postoperative follow up of breast cancer. The clinical status of each patient at the time of sampling was summarized. An average of eight plasma samples were cryopreserved for each patient over a period of 15 years.
The enzyme-linked immusorbent assay (ELISA) for p53 autoantibodies was developed in-house, based on the ELISA procedure of Lubin et al [3]. Our in-house method is detailed in the full text of this article. In one assay series we compared a commercial ELISA kit for p53 autoantibodies with our in-house ELISA. A total of 20 patients' samples were tested, representing a range of positive and negative readings. Two samples scored as strongly positive with the in-house assay, but only one of these two scored positive with the commercial assay. Having established sensitivity, specificity and reproducibility of the in-house assay, we judged that this was superior to the commercial assay both in terms of sensitivity and of cost (£1 per test compared with £23 per test). The in-house assay was thus used throughout the present study.
Results:
Serial plasma samples from 1006 patients with breast cancer revealed the following: (i) no correlation of p53 autoantibody status with disease status at the time of sample collection (Table 1), or with menopausal status at time of primary diagnosis of breast cancer (Table 2); (ii) 155 out of 1006 (15%) of patients were positive for p53 autoantibodies, and these patients tended to have a persistent autoantibody status throughout follow up, irrespective of disease behaviour; and (iii) where a negative autoantibody status was found at primary diagnosis of breast cancer, this negative status persisted throughout follow up, irrespective of later disease behaviour (Table 3).
Discussion:
As a working hypothesis, we proposed that levels of autoantibodies to p53 would reflect tumour behaviour. However, we found that the presence or absence of p53 autoantibodies was not predictive of presence or absence of recurrent disease. There was an equivalent incidence of active disease at the time of sampling in both the autoantibody-negative and autoantibody-positive groups, these being 25.2 and 28.7%, respectively. Thus, humoral immune activity against p53 appeared to be relatively restricted to a subgroup of patients in whom, once an autoantibody response had been generated, antibody was likely to persist regardless of tumour behaviour. Conversely, where no detectable p53 autoantibody was present at the time of primary diagnosis, these patients remained similarly negative for antibody, irrespective of subsequent disease activity (Table 3).
In contrast to shed markers that correlate with tumour mass, such as CA15.3 for cancer of the breast, any tumour-related immune response will be subject to complex regulation. Autoantibody responses to p53 will require appropriate primary immunization; initial low-dose antigen exposure may induce immune tolerance and lack of response. Higher antigen doses may activate either antibody-mediated immunity, or cellular immunity.
In breast cancer patients, our results suggest that, once an active humoral response against p53 is established, then this remains active. This persistent humoral reaction may be driven by persistent antigenic stimulation by p53 protein derived from overexpression of p53 at distant metastatic sites; alternatively, irradiated normal tissue may be a source of continued antigenic stimulation, because a long-term side effect of radiation therapy is an increased expression of p53 in normal breast tissue that persists for several years [12]. Since the great majority of our total patient cohort had received radiotherapy, humoral immunity to p53 associated with primary disease might persist, even in those patients who enter remission, due to tumour-independent antigenic stimulation.
Loss of p53 function is known to correlate with loss of efficacy of cancer therapy in vivo [13,14]. This raised the possibility that autoantibodies to p53 that develop during follow up might indicate those patients whose tumor has become resistant to therapy. However, the present results show that, if no immunity has been generated at the time of primary diagnosis, then later immunity is unlikely to occur. This corresponds to the finding that expression of p53 antigen in biopies of locally advanced breast cancer did not correlate with drug resistance [15,16]. Overall, the present observations show that screening for p53 autoantibody status is not informative on residual tumour activity, or on therapeutic responsiveness. We conclude that the potential value of p53 autoantibody screening in patients with breast cancer is limited to the prognostic information obtained at diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC13921  PMID: 11056691
breast; cancer; monitoring; p53 autoantibodies
13.  Association of angiopoietin-2, C-reactive protein and markers of obesity and insulin resistance with survival outcome in colorectal cancer 
British Journal of Cancer  2010;104(1):51-59.
Background:
This study investigated the relationship of obesity, insulin resistance, inflammation and angiogenesis with cancer progression and survival in a colorectal cancer cohort.
Methods:
Clinical and pathological data, along with anthropometric and follow-up data, were collected from 344 consecutive colorectal cancer patients. Serum samples at diagnosis were analysed by immunoassay for adiponectin, C-reactive protein (CRP), vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A), angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), insulin and C-peptide.
Results:
Serum Ang-2 and VEGF-A levels increased with tumour T stage (P=0.007 and P=0.025, respectively) and N stage (P=0.02 and P=0.03, respectively), and correlated with CRP levels (r=0.43, P<0.001 and r=0.23, P<0.001, respectively). Angiopoietin-2 correlated with C-peptide (r=0.14, P=0.007) and VEGF-A with IGF-1 in males (r=0.25, P=0.001). Kaplan–Meier analysis showed that patients with high serum levels of CRP and Ang-2 had significantly reduced survival (both P⩽0.001). After adjusting for tumour stage and age, Ang-2 remained a significant predictor of survival. The CRP levels were inversely associated with survival in American Joint Committee on Cancer stage II patients (P=0.038), suggesting that CRP could be used to support treatment decisions in this subgroup. Serum markers and anthropometric measures of obesity correlated with each other, but not with survival.
Conclusion:
Our study supports the concept that obesity-related inflammation, rather than obesity itself, is associated with colorectal cancer progression and survival. The study confirms serum Ang-2 as a predictive marker for outcome of colorectal cancer.
doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6606005
PMCID: PMC3039823  PMID: 21081932
obesity; insulin resistance; tumour angiogenesis; angiopoietin-2; C-reactive protein
14.  Tissue polypeptide antigen & interleukin-6: Are their serum levels a predictor for response to chemotherapy in breast cancer? 
Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences  2014;30(5):1108-1112.
Objective: To compare the serum level of tissue polypeptide antigen (TPA) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in women with breast cancer at various stages of the disease and to consider the usefulness of these tumor markers in evaluating the response to chemotherapy.
Methods: This case control study included 60 women, from those who were attending the Oncology and Nuclear Hospital in Mosul / Iraq from the period of 1st of March 2012 and 1st of March 2013, complaining of breast cancer of stage 1-4 and receiving chemotherapy after they were operated on. Thirty women age ranged between 29-69 years, were receiving six cycles of chemotherapy after they were operated. This group was compared with the second group of 30 breast cancer women, age ranged between 28-61 years who came for the first time after they were operated on and before receiving chemotherapy. Another 30 apparently healthy, age matched women were included in this study as a healthy control group. The sera obtained from the precipitants used for the estimation of serum TPA and IL-6 level using special commercial kits.
Results: The mean serum levels of both TPA and IL-6 were significantly higher in breast cancer patients than healthy control group. The mean serum levels of both TPA and IL-6 in the breast cancer patients who received 6 cycles of chemotherapy were significantly lower than their levels in the breast cancer patients who did not received chemotherapy yet. There was a significant difference among the 4 stages of breast cancer regarding TPA and IL-6 serum levels, the highest value was detected in those with stage IV and the lowest value was detected in those with stage I. The mean serum levels of both TPA and IL-6 were significantly higher in patients with ductal type than those with lobular type in both breast cancer groups. Both TPA and IL-6 are highly sensitive in detecting breast cancer and the combination of the two tumor markers will increase the specificity for detecting breast cancer up to 96.7%.
Conclusion: Serum level of TPA and IL-6 discriminates between localized and metastatic breast cancer and their levels are good indicators of disease progression, TPA and IL-6 levels have a good predictive value for response to chemotherapy. The combination of the two tumor markers will increase the specificity for detecting breast cancer up to 96.7%.
doi:10.12669/pjms.305.5199
PMCID: PMC4163242  PMID: 25225536
Breast cancer; Tumor marker; Interleukin; Tissue polypeptide antigen
15.  A Pilot Study of Circulating miRNAs as Potential Biomarkers of Early Stage Breast Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(10):e13735.
Background
To date, there are no highly sensitive and specific minimally invasive biomarkers for detection of breast cancer at an early stage. The occurrence of circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) in blood components (including serum and plasma) has been repeatedly observed in cancer patients as well as healthy controls. Because of the significance of miRNA in carcinogenesis, circulating miRNAs in blood may be unique biomarkers for early and minimally invasive diagnosis of human cancers. The objective of this pilot study was to discover a panel of circulating miRNAs as potential novel breast cancer biomarkers.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Using microarray-based expression profiling followed by Real-Time quantitative Polymerase Cycle Reaction (RT-qPCR) validation, we compared the levels of circulating miRNAs in plasma samples from 20 women with early stage breast cancer (10 Caucasian American (CA) and 10 African American (AA)) and 20 matched healthy controls (10 CAs and 10 AAs). Using the significance level of p<0.05 constrained by at least two-fold expression change as selection criteria, we found that 31 miRNAs were differentially expressed in CA study subjects (17 up and 14 down) and 18 miRNAs were differentially expressed in AA study subjects (9 up and 9 down). Interestingly, only 2 differentially expressed miRNAs overlapped between CA and AA study subjects. Using receiver operational curve (ROC) analysis, we show that not only up-regulated but also down-regulated miRNAs can discriminate patients with breast cancer from healthy controls with reasonable sensitivity and specificity. To further explore the potential roles of these circulating miRNAs in breast carcinogenesis, we applied pathway-based bioinformatics exploratory analysis and predicted a number of significantly enriched pathways which are predicted to be regulated by these circulating miRNAs, most of which are involved in critical cell functions, cancer development and progression.
Conclusions
Our observations from this pilot study suggest that the altered levels of circulating miRNAs might have great potential to serve as novel, noninvasive biomarkers for early detection of breast cancer.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013735
PMCID: PMC2966402  PMID: 21060830
16.  Eukaryotic Initiation Factor 4E (eIF4E) and angiogenesis: prognostic markers for breast cancer 
BMC Cancer  2006;6:231.
Background
The overexpression of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E), a key regulator of protein synthesis, is involved in the malignant progression of human breast cancer. This study investigates the relationship between eIF4E and angiogenesis, as well as their prognostic impact in patients with human breast cancer.
Methods
Immunohistochemical staining was used to determine protein expression of eIF4E, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), interleukin-8 (IL-8), and CD105 in a set of 122 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded primary breast cancer tissues. Expression of eIF4E in positive cells was characterized by cytoplasmic staining. Evaluation of VEGF and IL-8 in the same tissue established the angiogenic profiles, while CD105 was used as an indicator of microvessel density (MVD).
Results
A significant relationship was found between the level of eIF4E expression and histological grade (P = 0.016). VEGF, IL-8, and MVD were closely related to tumor grade (P = 0.003, P = 0.022, and P < 0.001, respectively) and clinical stage (P = 0.007, P = 0.048, and P < 0.001, respectively). Expression of eIF4E was also significantly correlated with VEGF (P = 0.007), IL-8 (P = 0.007), and MVD (P = 0.006). Patients overexpressing eIF4E had significantly worse overall (P = 0.01) and disease-free survival (P = 0.006). When eIF4E, histological grade, tumor stage, ER, PR, Her-2 status and the levels of VEGF, IL-8, MVD were included in a multivariate Cox regression analysis, eIF4E emerged as an independent prognostic factor for breast cancer (P = 0.001), along with stage (P = 0.005), node status (P = 0.046), and MVD (P = 0.004).
Conclusion
These results suggest that higher eIF4E expression correlates with both angiogenesis and vascular invasion of cancer cells, and could therefore serve as a useful histological predictor for less favorable outcome in breast cancer patients, as well as represent a potential therapeutic target.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-6-231
PMCID: PMC1599748  PMID: 17010208
17.  Expression profiling of cancerous and normal breast tissues identifies microRNAs that are differentially expressed in serum from patients with (metastatic) breast cancer and healthy volunteers 
Introduction
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a group of small noncoding RNAs involved in the regulation of gene expression. As such, they regulate a large number of cellular pathways, and deregulation or altered expression of miRNAs is associated with tumorigenesis. In the current study, we evaluated the feasibility and clinical utility of circulating miRNAs as biomarkers for the detection and staging of breast cancer.
Methods
miRNAs were extracted from a set of 84 tissue samples from patients with breast cancer and eight normal tissue samples obtained after breast-reductive surgery. After reverse transcription and preamplification, 768 miRNAs were profiled by using the TaqMan low-density arrays. After data normalization, unsupervised hierarchical cluster analysis (UHCA) was used to investigate global differences in miRNA expression between cancerous and normal samples. With fold-change analysis, the most discriminating miRNAs between both tissue types were selected, and their expression was analyzed on serum samples from 20 healthy volunteers and 75 patients with breast cancer, including 16 patients with untreated metastatic breast cancer. miRNAs were extracted from 200 μl of serum, reverse transcribed, and analyzed in duplicate by using polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR).
Results
UHCA showed major differences in miRNA expression between tissue samples from patients with breast cancer and tissue samples from breast-reductive surgery (P < 0.0001). Generally, miRNA expression in cancerous samples tends to be repressed when compared with miRNA expression in healthy controls (P = 0.0685). The four most discriminating miRNAs by fold-change (miR-215, miR-299-5p, miR-411, and miR-452) were selected for further analysis on serum samples. All miRNAs at least tended to be differentially expressed between serum samples from patients with cancer and serum samples from healthy controls (miR-215, P = 0.094; miR-299-5P, P = 0.019; miR-411, P = 0.002; and miR-452, P = 0.092). For all these miRNAs, except for miR-452, the greatest difference in expression was observed between serum samples from healthy volunteers and serum samples from untreated patients with metastatic breast cancer.
Conclusions
Our study provides a basis for the establishment of miRNAs as biomarkers for the detection and eventually staging of breast cancer through blood-borne testing. We identified and tested a set of putative biomarkers of breast cancer and demonstrated that altered levels of these miRNAs in serum from patients with breast cancer are particularly associated with the presence of metastatic disease.
doi:10.1186/bcr3127
PMCID: PMC3496152  PMID: 22353773
18.  Progranulin as a Prognostic Biomarker for Breast Cancer Recurrence in Patients Who Had Hormone Receptor-Positive Tumors: A Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e39880.
Background
Progranulin (PGRN) is considered to play an important role in breast cancer tumorigenesis and in inhibiting tamoxifen-induced apoptosis. We aimed to determine whether PGRN levels are associated with breast cancer recurrence after curative surgery.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We evaluated the associations between preoperative serum PGRN levels and breast cancer recurrence in a cohort of 697 newly diagnosed breast cancer patients who underwent curative surgery between April 2001 and December 2004. The mean age ± standard deviation (SD) was 46±9.8 years, and all patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive tumors received adjuvant tamoxifen therapy. At a median follow-up of 62.2 months (range, 2.9–98.2), 89 patients (12.8%) had experienced a recurrence and 51 patients (7.3%) had died. In the HR-positive group, serum PGRN levels were associated with recurrence according to the log-rank test for trend (p for trend  = 0.049). There was no association between PGRN levels and recurrence in the HR-negative group (p for trend  = 0.658). Adjusted hazard ratios, including possible confounders, revealed a linear relationship between serum PGRN levels and recurrence in the HR-positive group (p for trend  = 0.049), and this association was further strengthened after excluding patients who had no lymph node metastasis (p for trend  = 0.038).
Conclusions/Significance
Serum PGRN levels were clinically significant for predicting recurrence in patients with HR-positive breast cancer during adjuvant tamoxifen therapy.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039880
PMCID: PMC3382586  PMID: 22761921
19.  Serum amyloid A: A new potential serum marker correlated with the stage of breast cancer 
Oncology Letters  2012;3(4):940-944.
Previous studies reported that serum amyloid A (SAA) is elevated in patients with tumors, including breast cancer, compared to healthy controls. In addition, the levels of SAA increase gradually with tumor progression. In this study, we investigated the blood SAA level of breast cancer patients, and evaluated its potential as a serum biomarker for the early diagnosis of breast cancer and as a staging estimate. SAA protein was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in serum samples from 30 healthy women, 21 women with benign diseases and 118 breast cancer patients who were subdivided into 4 groups based on their clinical characteristics. SAA levels were not statistically different in stage I breast cancer patients compared with the healthy controls and benign breast disease patients. SAA concentrations had medians of 0.63 µg/ml in normal healthy women, 0.76 µg/ml in patients with benign disease (p>0.05) and 0.82 µg/ml in stage I breast cancer patients (p>0.05). By contrast, SAA values in stage Ⅱ, Ⅲ and Ⅳ patients had a significantly higher median compared to those of the healthy, benign breast diseases and stage I groups (p<0.05). Breast cancer patients with lymph node (LN) metastasis or distant metastasis were found to have significantly higher SAA concentrations than those without metastases. SAA is not a suitable marker for early breast cancer diagnosis, but its level is correlated with the stage of breast cancer. Thus, it may be a good candidate marker for the staging and prognosis of breast cancer.
doi:10.3892/ol.2012.584
PMCID: PMC3362442  PMID: 22741023
serum amyloid A; breast cancer; staging; diagnosis
20.  Correlation study of Carcino Embryonic Antigen & Cancer Antigen 15.3 in pretreated female breast cancer patients 
Carcino Embryonic Antigen (CEA) and Cancer Antigen 15.3 (CA15.3) are the most common tumor markers in breast cancer patients. Measurement of circulating tumor markers is a non-invasive quantitative method. Serum levels of CEA and CA 15.3 were studied in female breast cancer patients prior to treatment. To evaluate the utility of these markers, 207 Breast carcinoma patients belonging to all the stages were considered. Healthy age matched 75 female individuals formed the control group. The serum levels of CEA and CA 15.3 were analyzed by Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). Results were taken and compared with stages, tumor size, node and grade. The serum CA 15.3 levels were significant in all the study parameters whereas serum CEA levels showed no significant changes with any of the parameters. Measurement of serum CA 15.3 levels showed significant correlation (24.8%) with advanced stages and larger tumor sizes, whereas serum CEA levels did not show any significant correlation in breast cancer patients prior to treatment.
doi:10.1007/BF02912882
PMCID: PMC3454275  PMID: 23105653
Breast cancer; Tumor markers; stage; Tumor size; Node; Grade
21.  Cancer biomarker HER-2/neu in breast cancer in Indian women 
Aim and objectives
In Indian women with breast cancer, the HER-2/neu gene is amplified in 30% of cases. Elevated serum HER-2/neu levels have been shown to be associated with a poor clinical prognosis and decreased survival in early stage breast cancer patients, and testing for this may help to manage the disease. The present study was therefore to estimate serum HER-2/neu levels in breast cancer patients and associate these with other prognostic factors.
Materials and methods
Serum HER-2/neu levels were studied in 207 patients with breast cancer, 15 with benign breast diseases, (BBD) and 175 age-matched healthy controls. Patients’ age, menopausal status, node, and estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PgR) status were compared with serum HER-2/neu levels.
Results
Serum HER-2/neu overexpression was associated with age, disease stage and positive nodal status but not with menopausal status. Serum HER-2/neu levels were negatively correlated with hormone receptor positivity.
Conclusion
HER-2/neu serum tests should be done more frequently in Indian women with breast cancer, irrespective of their ER and PgR hormone receptor status. ELISA is a reliable and economical tool to assess the HER-2/neu status in tumors, when breast tissue samples are not available.
doi:10.2147/BCTT.S17108
PMCID: PMC3846717  PMID: 24367173
breast cancer; serum HER-2/neu receptor assay; hormone receptor; ER; PgR
22.  Mass spectrometry-based serum proteome pattern analysis in molecular diagnostics of early stage breast cancer 
Background
Mass spectrometric analysis of the blood proteome is an emerging method of clinical proteomics. The approach exploiting multi-protein/peptide sets (fingerprints) detected by mass spectrometry that reflect overall features of a specimen's proteome, termed proteome pattern analysis, have been already shown in several studies to have applicability in cancer diagnostics. We aimed to identify serum proteome patterns specific for early stage breast cancer patients using MALDI-ToF mass spectrometry.
Methods
Blood samples were collected before the start of therapy in a group of 92 patients diagnosed at stages I and II of the disease, and in a group of age-matched healthy controls (104 women). Serum specimens were purified and the low-molecular-weight proteome fraction was examined using MALDI-ToF mass spectrometry after removal of albumin and other high-molecular-weight serum proteins. Protein ions registered in a mass range between 2,000 and 10,000 Da were analyzed using a new bioinformatic tool created in our group, which included modeling spectra as a sum of Gaussian bell-shaped curves.
Results
We have identified features of serum proteome patterns that were significantly different between blood samples of healthy individuals and early stage breast cancer patients. The classifier built of three spectral components that differentiated controls and cancer patients had 83% sensitivity and 85% specificity. Spectral components (i.e., protein ions) that were the most frequent in such classifiers had approximate m/z values of 2303, 2866 and 3579 Da (a biomarker built from these three components showed 88% sensitivity and 78% specificity). Of note, we did not find a significant correlation between features of serum proteome patterns and established prognostic or predictive factors like tumor size, nodal involvement, histopathological grade, estrogen and progesterone receptor expression. In addition, we observed a significantly (p = 0.0003) increased level of osteopontin in blood of the group of cancer patients studied (however, the plasma level of osteopontin classified cancer samples with 88% sensitivity but only 28% specificity).
Conclusion
MALDI-ToF spectrometry of serum has an obvious potential to differentiate samples between early breast cancer patients and healthy controls. Importantly, a classifier built on MS-based serum proteome patterns outperforms available protein biomarkers analyzed in blood by immunoassays.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-7-60
PMCID: PMC2725033  PMID: 19594898
23.  Circulating microRNAs as blood-based markers for patients with primary and metastatic breast cancer 
Introduction
MicroRNAs (miRs) are interesting new diagnostic targets that may provide important insights into the molecular pathogenesis of breast cancer. Here we evaluated, for the first time, the feasibility and clinical utility of circulating miRs as biomarkers for the detection and staging of breast cancer.
Methods
The relative concentrations of breast cancer-associated miR10b, miR34a, miR141 and miR155 were measured in the blood serum of 89 patients with primary breast cancer (M0, n = 59) and metastatic disease (M1, n = 30), and 29 healthy women by a TaqMan MicroRNA Assay.
Results
The relative concentrations of total RNA (P = 0.0001) and miR155 (P = 0.0001) in serum significantly discriminated M0-patients from healthy women, whereas miR10b (P = 0.005), miR34a (P = 0.001) and miR155 (P = 0.008) discriminated M1-patients from healthy controls. In breast cancer patients, the changes in the levels of total RNA (P = 0.0001), miR10b (P = 0.01), miR34a (P = 0.003) and miR155 (P = 0.002) correlated with the presence of overt metastases. Within the M0-cohort, patients at advanced tumor stages (pT3 to 4) had significantly more total RNA (P = 0.0001) and miR34a (P = 0.01) in their blood than patients at early tumor stages (pT1 to 2).
Conclusions
This pilot study provides first evidence that tumor-associated circulating miRs are elevated in the blood of breast cancer patients and associated with tumor progression.
doi:10.1186/bcr2766
PMCID: PMC3046429  PMID: 21047409
24.  Serum Progranulin as an Independent Marker of Liver Fibrosis in Patients with Biopsy-Proven Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease 
Disease markers  2011;31(4):205-210.
Background: Elevated progranulin levels are associated with visceral obesity, elevated plasma glucose, and dyslipidemia. Progranulin has not been previously investigated as a biomarker of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We sought to determine whether serum progranulin levels are altered in patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD and if they are associated with their clinical, biochemical, and histological characteristics.
Subjects and methods: We measured serum progranulin levels in 95 patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD and 80 age- and sex-matched controls. The potential associations between progranulin and the characteristics of NAFLD patients were examined by multiple linear regression analysis.
Results: Serum progranulin levels were significantly higher in NAFLD patients (34 ± 13 ng/mL) than in controls (28 ± 7 ng/mL, P < 0.001). In NAFLD patients, serum progranulin levels were associated with lipid levels and the degree of hepatic fibrosis. After adjustment for potential confounders, serum progranulin remained an independent predictor of the degree of hepatic fibrosis in NAFLD patients (β = 0.392; t =2.226, P < 0.01).
Conclusions: Compared with controls, NAFLD patients have higher serum progranulin concentrations, which are closely associated with lipid values and the extent of hepatic fibrosis.
doi:10.3233/DMA-2011-0815
PMCID: PMC3826876  PMID: 22045426
Progranulin; nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; hepatic fibrosis
25.  Locoregional therapy in luminal-like and HER2-enriched patients with de novo stage IV breast cancer 
SpringerPlus  2013;2:589.
Background
Locoregional therapy is rarely the standard of care for De Novo stage IV breast cancer but usually used for palliation of symptoms. This retrospective study aimed to determine whether surgery or radiation would contribute to survival benefit for this group of patients by examining the survival outcome through the disease molecular subtypes.
Materials and methods
We reviewed 246 patients with de novo stage IV (M1) breast cancer treated at our hospital between 1990 and 2009. Multivariable Cox Analysis was used to evaluate the survival association with subtypes and clinicopathologic factors.
Results
Patients with luminal-like subtype are mostly premonopausal (66.9%, P = 0.0002), with abnormal CA 15–3 level at initial diagnosis (58.7%, P = 0.01), a higher rate of bony metastases (78.5%, P = 0.02), and a lower rate of liver metastases (22.3%, P < 0.0001). Patients with HER2-enriched and triple negative showed higher rate of nuclear grade III, up to 35% and 40%, respectively (P = 0.01). There is no difference in treatment options patient received: systemic chemotherapy up to 82.2 ~ 95% (p = 0.0705), locoregional treatment up to 40.0 ~ 51.2% (P-0.2571). The median overall survival was 23.1 months: luminal-like subtype 39.6 months, HER2-enriched subtype 17.9 months, and triple negative subtype 13.3 months, respectively (P < 0.0001). In multivariate analysis, poor prognostic factors included HER2-enriched (HR 2.2, P < 0.0001) and triple negative subtype (HR 4.3, P < 0.0001), liver metastasis (HR 1.9, P < 0.0001), lung metastasis (HR 1.4, P = 0.0153), and bone metastasis (HR 1.8, P = 0.0007). Subgroup analysis revealed that local treatments (surgery or radiotherapy) to primary/regional tumors achieved better survival in patients with luminal-like (3-year survival 66.4% vs. 34.4%, p = 0.0001) and HER2-enriched (3-year survival 41.6% vs. 8.8%, p = 0.0012) subtypes, but not in triple negative subtype (P = 0.9575).
Conclusions
For better survival outcome, De Novo Stage IV breast cancer patients with luminal-like or HER2-enriched subtype should be offered local treatments when surgery and/or radiotherapy presents an option for proper control of the primary and regional tumors.
doi:10.1186/2193-1801-2-589
PMCID: PMC4320159

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