Serum levels of transforming growth factor beta1 in patients with breast cancer

Arch Surg. 2001 Aug;136(8):937-40. doi: 10.1001/archsurg.136.8.937.


Hypothesis: Transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-beta1) may be related to breast cancer progression.

Design: Prospective study.

Setting: University hospital.

Patients: Sixty consecutive patients with invasive breast cancer undergoing surgery were prospectively included and evaluated. The control group consisted of 14 patients with benign breast tumors (7 with fibrocystic disease and 7 with fibroadenoma).

Intervention: Venous blood samples were collected before the surgery. Sera were obtained by centrifugation and stored at -70 degrees C until assayed. Serum concentrations of TGF-beta1 were measured by quantitative sandwich enzyme immunoassay. Data on primary tumor stage, age, estrogen receptor status, lymph node status, distant metastases, and TNM staging (according to the Union Internationale Contre le Cancer) were reviewed and recorded.

Main outcome measures: Measurements of preoperative serum TGF-beta1 levels in patients with breast cancer.

Results: The mean +/- SD value of serum TGF-beta1 in patients with invasive breast cancer was 498.7 +/- 249.7 pg/mL and in the control group was 495.2 +/- 225.5 pg/mL (P =.96). However, there were significantly higher serum levels of TGF-beta1 in patients with more advanced lymph node status (P =.04), more advanced TNM stage (P =.005), and poorer histological grade (P =.02). In multivariate analysis, TNM staging (P =.02) was demonstrated to be the independent factor related to significantly higher serum levels of TGF-beta1.

Conclusions: Patients with more advanced TNM stages were shown to have higher serum TGF-beta1 levels. Thus, serum TGF-beta1 levels may reflect the severity of invasive breast cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Breast Neoplasms / blood*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / blood*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • TGFB1 protein, human
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1