IMR Press / FBL / Volume 11 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.2741/1926

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
Biomolecular markers of breast cancer
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1 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Pisa, Italy
2 Department of Reproduction and Aging, University of Pisa, Italy
3 Department of Diagnostics, Division of Virology, D Cotugno Hospital, Naples, Italy

Academic Editor: Antonio Giordano

Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2006, 11(2), 1818–1843;
Published: 1 May 2006
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gene targets for modulating cell growth)

Here, the structure, function, biological and pathological significance and clinical utility of the principal biomolecular markers of breast cancer is reviewed. Each marker was scored for clinical utility using a recently developed tumor marker utility grading system (TMUGS). Among the tissue markers, ERs and PRs are important prognostic/predictive factors and the only tissue markers routinely determined. ER cross-talks with other growth factors while co-regulatory factors enhance (co-activators) or decrease (co-repressors) its transcriptional activity. C-erbB-2 and Ki67/MIB-1 select for adjuvant chemotherapy a subgroup of lymph-node negative patients at a high risk of relapse. Monoclonal antibodies (trastuzumab, gefitinib, erlotinib and bevacizumab) targeting tissue markers and involved in tumor growth and metastasization (EGFR, C-erbB-2, VEGF) have been developed; they showed therapeutical single agent activity as well as potent synergy with chemotherapy agents in metastatic cancer. Among circulating markers, some are potentially useful in the early detection and monitoring of metastatic disease; nevertheless, none is routinely recommended. To suspect distant metastases, CEA-TPA-CA15.3 panel attained accuracy of about 90%. ECD HER2-neu, p53 and nucleophosmin antibodies seem suitable candidates for different associations. Preliminary observations suggest that an early detection with tumor markers and successive treatment of relapses significantly prolongs disease-free and overall survival in selected patients. In conclusion, biomolecular markers are improving understanding of biology and management of breast cancer.

Estrogen receptor
Progesterone receptor
carcinoembryonic antigen
Mucin-like carcinoma associated antigen
Tissue polypeptide antigen
Vascular endothelial growth factor
Intracellular adhesion molecule 1
vascular cell adhesion molecule Breast
Biomolecular Markers
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