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J Natl Cancer Inst. 1992 Aug 19;84(16):1266-72.

Multiparametric prognostic evaluation of biological factors in primary breast cancer.

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  • 1Laboratoire des Récepteurs Hormonaux, Centre René Huguenin, St-Cloud, France.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

An array of biological features related to tumor cell differentiation status, growth rate, and invasive potential have been identified as potential prognostic factors in breast cancer. We were interested in determining their relative importance in predicting patient survival.

PURPOSE:

We evaluated the relative weight of the following four biological factors in predicting survival of patients with breast cancer: tumor cell DNA content (determined by flow cytometry), tumor cell proliferation rate (determined by thymidine kinase activity), expression levels of cathepsin D and urokinase plasminogen activator, and several "classical" clinical and histological factors.

METHODS:

Selected from a prospectively updated database, the study population consisted of 319 primary breast cancer patients who received treatment and follow-up care (median, 6 years) in the Centre René Huguenin. To determine the profile of biological factors for each patient, we used frozen tumor specimens and (except for the flow cytometric DNA content assay) commercially available assay kits. We determined by Cox multivariate analysis the relationships of the biological factors to each other, to classical prognostic factors, and to disease-free and metastasis-free survival.

RESULTS:

In the overall population, disease-free survival was best predicted by node status (P = .004), clinical tumor size (P = .02), and cathepsin D expression (P = .01), whereas metastasis-free survival was best predicted by node status (P = .0004), clinical tumor size (P = .009), and urokinase plasminogen activator expression (P = .04). In node-negative patients, thymidine kinase activity was the only factor selected for disease-free (P = .04) and metastasis-free (P = .05) survival. In node-positive patients, the number of positive axillary lymph nodes was the only factor selected for disease-free (P = .0008) and metastasis-free (P = .00017) survival.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our retrospective analysis has identified protease expression and tumor cell proliferation rate as important biological prognostic factors in breast cancer. Prospective clinical trials should be undertaken to confirm these results.

PMID:
1640487
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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