Evaluation of bone metabolic markers in breast cancer with bone metastasis

Breast Cancer. 2001;8(2):131-7. doi: 10.1007/BF02967492.


Purpose: In the present study, four bone metabolic markers were examined to clarify them meaning and clinical value in the detection of bone metastasis (BM) from breast cancer.

Methods: we examined serum carboxyterminal telopeptide of type I collagen (ICTP), tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRACP), total alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and urinary type I collagen cross-linked N-telopeptides (NTx) as potential markers. These bone markers were evaluated simultaneously in 156 breast cancer patients; 114 patients without metastasis (group A), 23 patients with BM (group B) and 19 patients with metastasis at sites other than bone (group C).

Results: The mean values of ICTP and TRACP in group B were significantly greater than those in group A. Group B consisted of the patients with varying degrees of BM and variation in their treatments. The patients in group B were divided into BM (+) and BM (++) according to hot spots in bone scan. ICTP and TRACP were elevated in BM (++) patients compared to BM (+) patients (p<0.05). The values of ICTP and TRACP of the twelve patients without treatment in group B were significantly higher than those in group A. In the treated patients of group B, the mean values of ICTP and TRACP were lower in responders and cases of stable disease than those with progression. NTx and ALP were inferior to ICTP and TRACP for clinical evaluation of BM.

Conclusions: We confirmed that ICTP and TRACP might be useful markers for screening and monitoring BM in breast cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Acid Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alkaline Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Bone Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Breast Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Collagen Type I
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Tartrate-Resistant Acid Phosphatase


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Collagen Type I
  • Isoenzymes
  • Peptides
  • collagen type I trimeric cross-linked peptide
  • Collagen
  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Acid Phosphatase
  • Tartrate-Resistant Acid Phosphatase