Prognostic significance of urokinase-type plasminogen activator and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 in primary breast cancer

Br J Cancer. 1998 Mar;77(6):932-40. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1998.154.


The uPA-mediated pathway of plasminogen activation is central to cancer metastasis. Whether uPA and PAI-1 are related to local recurrence, metastatic spread or both is not clear. We present a retrospective study of 429 primary breast cancer patients with a median follow-up of 5.1 years, in which the levels of uPA and PAI-1 in tumour extracts were analysed by means of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The median values of uPA and PAI-1, which were used as cut-off points, were 4.5 and 11.1 ng mg(-1) protein respectively. The levels of uPA and PAI-1 were correlated with tumour size, degree of anaplasia, steroid receptor status and number of positive nodes. Patients with high content of either uPA or PAI-1 had increased risk of relapse and death. We demonstrated an independent ability of PAI-1 to predict distant metastasis (relative risk 1.7, confidence limits 1.22 and 2.46) and that neither uPA nor PAI-1 provided any information regarding local recurrence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / enzymology
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / surgery
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1 / analysis*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator / analysis*


  • Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator