Role of Tumor Markers in the Management of Patients with Breast Cancer (pp. 79-99)
Authors: M. J. Duffy (St Vincentís University Hospital, Dublin , Ireland)
Abstract: Cancer of the breast is the most common malignancy affecting women in the Western world with approximately 1 in 11 developing the neoplasm and 1 in 30 dying from the disease. For optimum management of patients with breast cancer, assay of certain biochemical markers is necessary. Clinically, the most useful markers in breast cancer are the estrogen and progesterone receptors which are used to predict response to hormone therapy. Both American and European Expert Panels have recommended that routine determination of these steroid hormone receptors should be performed on all patients with breast cancer. For surveillance of patients with diagnosed breast cancer, both CA 15-3 and BR 27.29 are used. Serial determinations of these markers have the potential to preclinically detect recurrent disease and monitor the treatment of advanced disease. However, the benefit of this monitoring on patient outcome or quality of life is not clear. Promising new markers for breast cancer include urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and PA1-1 for assessing prognosis in patients with lymph node-negative disease.