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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2006 Mar;96(1):63-72. Epub 2005 Nov 3.

Cytosolic levels of TFF1/pS2 in breast cancer: Their relationship with clinical-pathological parameters and their prognostic significance.

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  • 1Instituto Universitario de Oncología del Principado de Asturias, Oviedo, Spain.



The Trefoil Factor 1 (TFF1/pS2), a peptide consisting of 60 amino acids, is the most abundant estrogen-induced messenger RNA present in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. The objective of this work was to evaluate the cytosolic TFF1 content in breast carcinomas, its possible relationship with different clinical-pathological parameters, and its potential prognostic significance and predictive value.


Cytosolic TFF1 levels were examined by immunoradiometric assay in 1031 patients with invasive breast cancer. The median follow-up period was of 50 months.


There was a wide variability of cytosolic TFF1 levels in tumors (0.9-743.2 ng/mg protein). Statistical analysis showed that TFF1 levels were significantly higher in premenopausal patients (p = 0.001), as well as in tumors showing any of the following characteristics: good differentiation (p = 0.0001), ER and PgR positivity (p = 0.0001 and p = 0.001, respectively), diploidy (p = 0.045) and a high S-phase fraction (p = 0.001). In addition, the presence of high intratumoral TFF1 levels (cut-off: 2 ng/mg protein) was independently associated with a shorter overall survival in the group of patients as a whole (p = 0.001) as well as in the subgroup with node-negative breast cancer (p = 0.0004). Likewise, high intratumoral TFF1 levels were associated with a more prolonged overall survival in patients who received adjuvant tamoxifen (p = 0.004).


In breast cancer patients, intratumoral TFF1 levels are associated with a better clinical outcome, especially in those with node-negative tumors. In addition, TFF1 levels have a low but significant predictive value in regards to response to adjuvant therapy with tamoxifen.

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