Correlation between plasma transforming growth factor-beta 1 and second primary breast cancer in a chemoprevention trial

Eur J Cancer. 1998 Jun;34(7):999-1003. doi: 10.1016/s0959-8049(97)10170-8.


The relationship between plasma transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta 1) and second primary breast cancer was explored in a prevention trial of the synthetic retinoid fenretinide (N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)retinamide; 4-HPR). Plasma concentrations of TGF-beta 1 were measured by radioimmunoassay in plasma obtained at randomisation and after approximately 1 year of intervention in 28 women treated with 4-HPR and 27 untreated controls with stage I breast cancer. Baseline and 1 year growth factor concentrations were not significantly different between treated and control groups. After a median follow-up of 65 months, an increase in TGF-beta 1 over 1 year was the only significant, independent predictor of a shorter survival free from secondary primary breast cancer. Moreover, the change in TGF-beta 1 levels had a tendency to influence the treatment effect on second breast cancer incidence. Our data suggest that the role of plasma TGF-beta 1 as a surrogate endpoint of breast carcinogenesis should be assessed further.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Breast Neoplasms / blood*
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Fenretinide / therapeutic use
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / blood*
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / prevention & control
  • Radioimmunoassay / methods
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / blood*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Fenretinide