, Volume 96, Issue 1, pp 63-72
Date: 03 Nov 2005

Cytosolic levels of TFF1/pS2 in breast cancer: their relationship with clinical–pathological parameters and their prognostic significance

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The Trefoil Factor 1 (TFF1/pS2), a peptide consisting of 60 amino acids, is the most abundant estrogen-induced messenger RNA present in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. The objective of this work was to evaluate the cytosolic TFF1 content in breast carcinomas, its possible relationship with different clinical–pathological parameters, and its potential prognostic significance and predictive value.


Cytosolic TFF1 levels were examined by immunoradiometric assay in 1031 patients with invasive breast cancer. The median follow-up period was of 50 months.


There was a wide variability of cytosolic TFF1 levels in tumors (0.9–743.2 ng/mg protein). Statistical analysis showed that TFF1 levels were significantly higher in premenopausal patients (p=0.001), as well as in tumors showing any of the following characteristics: good differentiation (p=0.0001), ER and PgR positivity (p=0.0001 and p=0.001, respectively), diploidy (p=0.045) and a high S-phase fraction (p=0.001). In addition, the presence of high intratumoral TFF1 levels (cut-off: 2 ng/mg protein) was independently associated with a shorter overall survival in the group of patients as a whole (p=0.001) as well as in the subgroup with node-negative breast cancer (p=0.0004). Likewise, high intratumoral TFF1 levels were associated with a more prolonged overall survival in patients who received adjuvant tamoxifen (p=0.004).


In breast cancer patients, intratumoral TFF1 levels are associated with a better clinical outcome, especially in those with node-negative tumors. In addition, TFF1 levels have a low but significant predictive value in regards to response to adjuvant therapy with tamoxifen.