RT-PCR determination of maspin and mammaglobin B in peripheral blood of healthy donors and breast cancer patients

L. Mercatali, V. Valenti, D. Calistri, S. Calpona, G. Rosti, S. Folli, M. Gaudio, G. L. Frassineti, D. Amadori, E. Flamini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the accuracy of two markers, maspin and mammaglobin B, singly or in combination, to detect breast cancer. To define better the potential and limits of the two markers for diagnostic purposes, blood positivity was analyzed in relation to clinical, pathological and biological tumor characteristics. Patients and methods: The markers were determined in peripheral blood (PB) samples from 27 healthy donors and 140 previously untreated patients using nested reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Results: Positivity for maspin in blood samples was observed in 24% of patients with an 89% specificity. For mammaglobin B, positivity was observed in 7% of patients and never in healthy donors. The presence of maspin was correlated with cell proliferation of the primary tumor (P = 0.015), whereas mammaglobin B positivity correlated with pathological stage (P = 0.013). The presence of either marker was significantly related to nodal status. Conclusions: Our results indicate that the two markers in association could represent a potentially useful non-invasive tool to detect breast cancer. The validation of these markers as indicators of high risk of relapse is ongoing in a series of patients with an adequate follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-428
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006


  • Breast cancer
  • Mammaglobin B
  • Maspin
  • Peripheral blood
  • RT-PCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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