Plasma TGF-beta 1-related survival of postmenopausal metastatic breast cancer patients
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A pilot study was conducted to assess whether plasma levels of transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta 1) might facilitate biological subgrouping of postmenopausal metastatic breast cancer patients, and, accordingly, its applicability in clinical oncology. This study included 29 postmenopausal metastatic breast cancer patients. Plasma TGF-beta 1 levels were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Estrogen and progesterone receptors were assayed by radioligand binding, in accordance with the recommendation of the EORTC. Concentrations of 17-beta estradiol were determined by using ELISA-microwell method (DIALAB). Overall survival was followed for 24 months for each individual patient. Stratification of the patients by ER/PR status showed that 14 patients with estrogen receptor-negative, progesterone receptor-negative carcinomas displayed a statistically significant increase in plasma TGF-beta 1 levels when compared to plasma TGF-beta 1 levels of 6 patients with ER-posi...tive, PR-positive carcinomas (P=0.04). In this study, 7 out of 14 patients with negative receptors status had no plasma TGF-beta 1 values overlapping with patients having positive receptors status. The TGF-beta 1 cut-off value was defined as the highest plasma TGF-beta 1 level of ER-positive, PR-positive patients: 3.28 ng/ml. This plasma TGF-beta 1 cut-off value defined low-risk subgroup of 19 patients (! 3.28 ng/ml) and high-risk subgroup of 10 patients ( GT 3.28 ng/ml) (P=0.047). Plasma TGF-beta 1-related survival was independent of the classical prognostic factors of metastatic breast cancer. Accordingly, a clinical significance of elevated plasma TGF-beta 1 levels may be suggested.