Background: We compared two recently developed immunoassays for serum thymidine kinase 1 (TK1) activity: one manual assay (DiviTum, Biovica(®)) and one fully automated assay (Liaison, Diasorin(®)).
Methods: The study included 368 women: 149 healthy blood donors (control), 59 patients with benign breast disease (BBD) and 160 patients with primary breast cancer (BC).
Results: A regression analysis of the Liaison (y) and DiviTum (x) assays for all three groups yielded the equation y=3.93+0.03x (r=0.85, n=368). The r-value in BC was higher than in control and BBD (0.90 vs. 0.81 and 0.64). The correlation between the two assays for TK1 values above the cut-off was higher compared to that below (0.88 and 0.59). Breakdown of the BBD group into subgroups with proliferative and non-proliferative lesions was effective only with the measurement of TK1 with DiviTum assay (p=0.03). The TK1 activity determined preoperatively in BC patients with DiviTum and Liaison assays was significantly associated with T-stage (for both p=0.01), presence of vascular invasion (p=0.002 and p=0.02), lack of estrogen receptor (ER) (p=0.001 and p=0.01) and progesterone receptor (PR) (p=0.01 and p=0.03) expression. Only TK1 analyzed with the DiviTum assay was associated with tumor grade and molecular subtype of BC (p=0.02 and p=0.003). Multivariate Cox proportional hazards analyses demonstrated that T-stage, PR status and TK1 activity measured by both methods (DiviTum, RR=3.0, p=0.02 and Liaison, RR=3.1, p=0.01) were independent predictors of disease recurrence.
Conclusions: In spite of differences observed between TK1 activity measured by the DiviTum and Liaison assays, both of them may be used for recurrence prediction in preoperative evaluation of BC patients.