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Classen, S.; Kopp, R.; Possinger, K.; Weidenhagen, R.; Eiermann, W.; Wilmanns, W. (2002): Clinical relevance of soluble c-erbB-2 for patients with metastatic breast cancer predicting the response to second-line hormone or chemotherapy. In: Tumor Biology, Nr. 2: S. 70-75
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Abstract

Concentrations of soluble c-erbB-2 were determined in the sera of 64 patients with distant metastasis from advanced breast cancer receiving second-line hormone or chemotherapy in comparison to 35 breast cancer patients without detectable recurrent disease and 17 healthy blood donors. The sera of non-metastatic breast cancer patients contained s-erbB-2 concentrations similar to those of healthy blood donors. Patients with distant metastasis from advanced breast cancer had significantly higher values of s-erbB-2 in comparison to patients with non-disseminated disease (mean: 59.6 vs. 11.6 U/ml; p = 0.022). A significant correlation was observed between s-erbB-2 serum levels and serum LDH concentrations (p < 0.001), levels of alkaline phosphatase (p < 0.001), and the presence of hepatic metastasis (p = 0.001). Time to tumor progression was significantly shorter in patients with s-erbB-2 levels above 40 U/ml (mean: 23.4 vs. 56.7 months; p = 0.002). Furthermore, breast cancer patients with hepatic metastasis and those with elevated s-erbB-2 serum levels above 40 U/ml had limited response to hormone or chemotherapy. Non-responders had significantly higher s-erbB-2 levels (mean: 270.3, range: 42-500 U/ml;) compared with the responder group (mean: 23.1, range: 0-149 U/ml; p < 0.001). Logistic regression analysis indicated that elevated s-erbB-2 serum levels above 40 U/ml independently predicted an unfavorable response to second-line hormone or chemotherapy in patients with advanced metastatic breast cancer. Copyright (C) 2002 S. KargerAG, Basel.