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Br J Cancer. 1999 May;80(3-4):419-26.

Risk-group discrimination in node-negative breast cancer using invasion and proliferation markers: 6-year median follow-up.

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Frauenklinik, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany.


Factors reflecting two major aspects of tumour biology, invasion (urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA), plasminogen activator inhibiter (PAI-1), cathepsin D) and proliferation (S-phase fraction (SPF), Ki-67, p53, HER-2/neu), were assessed in 125 node-negative breast cancer patients without adjuvant systemic therapy. Median follow-up time was 76 months. Antigen levels of uPA, PAI-1 and cathepsin D were immunoenzymatically determined in tumour tissue extracts. SPF and ploidy were determined flow-cytometrically, Ki"'-67, p53, and HER-2/neu immunohistochemically in adjacent paraffin sections. Their prognostic impact on disease-free (DFS) and overall survival (OS) was compared to that of traditional factors (tumour size, grading, hormone receptor status). Univariate analysis determined PAI-1 (P < 0.001), uPA (P = 0.008), cathepsin D (P = 0.004) and SPF (P = 0.023) as significant for DFS. All other factors failed to be of significant prognostic value. In a Cox model, only PAI-1 was significant for DFS (P < 0.001, relative risk (RR) 6.2). In CART analysis for DFS, the combination of PAI-1 and uPA gave the best risk group discrimination. For OS, PAI-1, cathepsin D, tumour size and ploidy were statistically significant in univariate, but PAI-1 was the only independently significant factor in Cox analysis (P < 0.001, RR 8.9). In particular, this analysis shows that PAI-1 is still a strong and independent prognostic factor in node-negative breast cancer after extended 6-year median follow-up.

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