Key words Breast cancer
Bone resorption markers
Bone formation markers
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Background. The efficacy and cost-performance benefit of radionuclide bone scintigraphy in monitoring metastatic bone activity remain controversial. Bone metabolic markers are now expected to play a role in the diagnosis and follow-up of bone metastasis. Methods. We investigated several bone metabolic markers in patients with breast cancer. We measured three metabolic markers of bone resorption: pyridinoline cross-linked carboxy terminal telopeptide (ICTP), C-telopeptides of type I collagen (CTx), and the free form of deoxypyridinoline (fDPD), and four metabolic markers of bone formation: procollagen I carboxy terminal peptide (PICP), total alkaline phosphatase (Al-p), bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAl-p), and osteocalcin (BGP) in 210 patients without and 268 patients with bone metastasis. Patients without bone metastasis were analyzed in terms of menstruation status. Patients with bone metastasis were analyzed in terms of bone metastatic burden and tumor lesion "condition" (ie, determination by X-ray and/or computed tomography and bone scan findings of new lesion, progression of disease, no change, improvement, and complete remission, according to the criteria of the International Unite Against Cancer). Results. In patients without bone metastasis, ICTP did not change with menopause. All markers other than ICTP were significantly elevated with menopause. In patients with bone metastasis, all markers, except for BGP, were significantly elevated according to metastatic bone tumor burden. Among the seven markers, ICTP showed the best receiver operating characteristic curves. ICTP also showed the best correlation to bone metastatic burden among the markers by Spearman's rank correlation coefficient. In patients stratified by "condition", ICTP, CTx, fDPD, Al-p, and BAl-p showed significant elevation in patients with progression, new lesion, and no change, while PICP and BGP showed only minimal elevation in those patients. Conclusion. Bone metabolic markers, particularly ICTP, appear to be valuable for the diagnosis of bone metastasis from breast cancer.
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