IGFBP2 and IGFBP5 overexpression correlates with the lymph node metastasis in T1 breast carcinomas

Breast J. May-Jun 2008;14(3):261-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4741.2008.00572.x. Epub 2008 Mar 27.


The family of insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBPs) comprises six members which bind and regulate the functions of IGFs. Overexpression of IGFBP2 and IGFBP5 contributes to the invasiveness and progression of several human cancers, but their roles in the metastasis of breast cancer have not been investigated in detail. To determine their roles, we examined IGFBP2 and IGFBP5 expression levels in 164 T1 breast carcinomas using tissue microarrays and immunohistochemistry. The specimens were divided into those with (N1) or without (N0) axillary lymph node involvement. The results were associated with clinicopathologic parameters and prognostic molecular markers. No or very low expression of IGFBP2 and IGFBP5 was detected in normal breast epithelium or benign breast tissue with fibrocystic change. Moderate to strong cytoplasmic staining for IGFBP2 and IGFBP5 was detected in 49.1% and 50.3% of T1 invasive breast carcinomas, respectively. T1N1 carcinomas were more frequent to have moderate and strong-positive staining for IGFBP2 and IGFBP5 than in T1N0 carcinomas (p < 0.05). IGFBP2 and IGFBP5 expression correlated with the expression status of progesterone receptor and HER-2/neu in the overall T1 carcinoma group, but no association was found with tumor size or the expression status of estrogen receptor. Our data suggest that IGFBP2 and IGFBP5 play a role in the development of metastasis and may serve as useful markers to predict lymph node metastasis in patients with small (T1) invasive breast carcinomas.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / biosynthesis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 2 / biosynthesis*
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 5 / biosynthesis*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 2
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 5