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Ann Oncol. 2012 Feb;23(2):338-45. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdr154. Epub 2011 May 4.

Tumor markers in metastatic breast cancer subtypes: frequency of elevation and correlation with outcome.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Oncology, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver Cancer Center, Vancouver, Canada. ryerushalmi@bccancer.bc.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Little is known about the correlations between tumor markers (TMs), breast cancer subtypes, site(s) of metastasis and prognosis.

METHODS:

Women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer were included. Breast cancer subtypes were defined as LuminalA, LuminalB, LuminalHer2, Her2, Basal and non-Basal triple negative (TN). Levels of elevation of TM values [cancer antigen 15-3 (CA 15-3), carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and cancer antigen 125 (CA 125)] among the subtypes were analyzed. Site(s) of metastasis and outcomes were captured.

RESULTS:

Eight hundred and ten patients were included. Luminal subtypes were associated with an elevation in at least one TM: 90.8% of LuminalHer2+, 90% of LuminalB and 88.6% of LuminalA. TMs were less frequently elevated in Basal (74.1%) and non-Basal TN (71.4%) cases (P < 0.001). CA 15-3 was the most frequently elevated TM. The incidence of TM elevation did not differ between patients with solitary versus multiple metastatic sites. Breast cancer-specific survival (BCSS) was significantly worse for patients with elevated TMs (P = 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

TM elevation of CA 15-3, CEA and/or CA 125 was documented in the majority of patients with metastatic breast cancer with CA 15-3 occurring most commonly. Luminal subtypes expressed elevated TMs significantly more frequently compared with the non-Luminal groups. TM elevation was not different between the different sites of metastasis. Overall, elevated TMs predicted a worse BCSS.

PMID:
21543625
DOI:
10.1093/annonc/mdr154
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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