Vascular integrin α(v)β3: A new prognostic indicator in breast cancer

Giampietro Gasparini, Peter C. Brooks, Elia Biganzoli, Peter B. Vermeulen, Emanuela Bonoldi, Luc Y. Dirix, Girolamo Ranieri, Rosalba Miceli, David A. Cheresh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Blood vessel density is a prognostic indicator of multiple tumor types. Recently, it has been established that tumor-associated blood vessels express elevated levels of integrin α(v)β3. In fact, there is evidence that integrin α(v)β3 identifies the most proliferative endothelial cells within hut man breast carcinomas. Therefore, we evaluated breast cancer tissue in terms of both blood vessel density and α(v)β3 expression. We found that the antibody LM609 to integrin α(v)β3 preferentially stains the blood vessels of small caliber. Furthermore, comparative studies between LM609 and anti-CD31 antibodies on normal breast indicate that very low and weak expression of integrin α(v)β3 was found on vessels within normal tissue, whereas CD31 antigen was expressed in almost all vasculature. Indeed, expression of integrin α(v)β3 was significantly higher in tumors of patients with metastasis than in those without metastasis. In a series of 197 consecutive patients with invasive breast cancer and long follow-up, vascular expression of integrin α(v)β3 in tumor vascular 'hot spots' was found to be the most significant prognostic factor predictive of relapse-free survival in both node-negative and node-positive patients. These findings support the contention that angiogenesis plays a critical role in breast cancer progression and suggest that integrin α(v)β3 is an endothelial cell marker with significant prognostic value and potential usefulness as a target for specific antiangiogenic therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2625-2634
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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