Tumor Biology

, Volume 35, Issue 9, pp 8849–8860 | Cite as

The diagnostic, predictive, and prognostic role of serum epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) levels in breast cancer

  • S. KarabulutEmail author
  • F. Tas
  • D. Tastekin
  • M. Karabulut
  • C. T. Yasasever
  • R. Ciftci
  • M. Güveli
  • M. Fayda
  • S. Vatansever
  • M. Serilmez
  • R. Disci
  • A. Aydıner
Research Article


The purpose of this study was to determine the clinical significance of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) in breast cancer (BC) patients. Ninety-six BC patients and 30 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were enrolled into this study. Pretreatment serum markers were determined by the solid-phase sandwich (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)). The median age at diagnosis was 48 years (range 29–80 years). Majority of the patients (71 %) had luminal subtype, and 38.5 % had metastatic disease. Twenty-nine (30 %) patients showed tumor progression, and 20 (21 %) patients died during follow-up. Median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 8.6 ± 1.7 and 35.5 ± 1.5 months, respectively. The baseline serum EpCAM levels of the patients were significantly higher than those of the controls (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in the serum levels of VCAM-1 between the patients and controls (p = 0.47). No significant correlation was detected between the levels of the serum markers and other clinical parameters (p > 0.05). Patients with HER-2-positive and triple-negative tumors had significantly poorer PFS (p = 0.04 and p = 0.001, respectively), while metastatic disease and chemotherapy unresponsiveness had significantly adverse effect on OS analysis (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively). Neither serum VCAM-1 levels nor serum EpCAM levels were identified to have a prognostic role on either PFS or OS (VCAM-1 p = 0.76 and p = 0.32; EpCAM p = 0.16 and p = 0.69, respectively). Even though any predictive or prognostic role could not be determined for both markers, serum levels of EpCAM were found to have diagnostic value in BC patients.


EpCAM VCAM-1 Serum Breast cancer 


Conflicts of interest



No funding source


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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Karabulut
    • 1
    Email author
  • F. Tas
    • 1
  • D. Tastekin
    • 1
  • M. Karabulut
    • 2
  • C. T. Yasasever
    • 3
  • R. Ciftci
    • 1
  • M. Güveli
    • 4
  • M. Fayda
    • 4
  • S. Vatansever
    • 1
  • M. Serilmez
    • 3
  • R. Disci
    • 5
  • A. Aydıner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical Oncology, Oncology InstituteIstanbul UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Department of General SurgeryIstanbul Bakırköy Dr. Sadi Konuk Education and Research HospitalIstanbulTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Basic Oncology, Oncology InstituteIstanbul UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  4. 4.Department of Radiation Oncology, Oncology InstituteIstanbul UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  5. 5.Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Institute of OncologyIstanbul UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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