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Br J Cancer. 1993 Jun;67(6):1408-12.

The prognostic significance of transforming growth factors in human breast cancer.

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Department of Medical Oncology, St Georges Hospital, London, UK.


Transforming growth factor alpha (TGF alpha) and Transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-beta 1) are growth regulatory for breast cancer cell lines in vitro and several studies have suggested that levels of the receptor for TGF alpha, the epidermal growth factor (EGFR) in tumour biopsies predict relapse and survival. We have examined the prognostic significance of TGF alpha, TGF-beta 1 and EGFR mRNA expression in a series of patients with primary breast cancer with a median follow up period of 60 months. In 167 patients the expression of TGF-beta 1 was inversely correlated with node status (P = 0.065) but not ER status, tumour size or menopausal status. Patients with high levels of TGF-beta 1 had a longer disease free interval with a significantly longer probability of survival at 80 months although the overall relapse free survival was not increased. EGFR mRNA expression was measured in 106 patients and was inversely correlated with ER status (P = 0.018). EGFR levels did not predict for early relapse or survival. TGF alpha mRNA levels were measured in 104 patients, no correlation was seen tumour size, node status, Er status, or clinical outcome.

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