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Cancer. 1988 Aug 1;62(3):531-3.

Urokinase-plasminogen activator, a marker for aggressive breast carcinomas. Preliminary report.

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Department of Nuclear Medicine, St. Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.


Plasminogen activator is a serine protease which exists in two forms, known as tissue-type plasminogen activator and urokinase-type plasminogen activator. Here, we show that urokinase-type plasminogen activator activity in primary breast carcinomas correlates with both size of tumor and number of axillary nodes with metastases. Patients with primary carcinomas containing high levels of urokinase-type plasminogen activator activity had a significantly shorter disease-free interval than patients with low levels of activity. It is concluded that urokinase-plasminogen activator may be a new prognostic marker in breast cancer.

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