Difference in Ki67 and thymidylate synthase expression in primary tumour compared with metastatic nodes in breast cancer patients.

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Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease, so therapeutic predictive biological markers need to be identified. To date an accurate evaluation of predictive markers is mainly done at the primary site; however, the main goal of adjuvant therapy for breast cancer is the control of micrometastases. The aim of this study is to assess as therapeutic and/or prognostic marker, the proliferation status of primary tumors and involved nodes as measured by Ki67 and thymidylate synthase (TS) expression, in 30 breast cancer node positive patients. TS is the main target of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) activity, and its overexpression is one of the mechanisms of 5-FU drug resistance; however, in some studies its absence is responsible for a worse response to 5-FU. Our results show that malignant cells of involved nodes were in a post mitotic phase of the cell cycle, and show a low proliferation index and TS expression, while the primary tumours and controls, were strongly positive. On these basis we can hypothesize that these cells could be less sensitive to 5-FU. Further studies are necessary to identify other mechanisms responsible for their metastasing capability and/or for their aggressiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1193-1196
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2006


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics

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