Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 349–353 | Cite as

Tissue ferritin concentration and prognosis in carcinoma of the breast

  • Robert E. Weinstein
  • Bernice H. Bond
  • Boris K. Silberberg
  • Clarence B. Vaughn
  • Perla Subbaiah
  • David R. Pieper


Seven year follow-up data were available on 36 of 40 breast carcinoma patients in whom breast tissue ferritin concentrations at the time of surgery were known. 18 patients were alive and free of recurrence or second tumor (Group 1) and 11 died with breast cancer (Group 2). Patients with lower tissue ferritin concentrations defined as < 319 ng/mcp (nanograms of ferritin/milligram of cytosol protein) were at reduced risk: 86% of patients with low tissue ferritin concentration survived free of recurrence or second tumor vs. 40% of patients with high tissue ferritin concentration (P = 0.0056). Mean breast carcinoma tissue ferritin concentration was 295 ± 52 ng/mcp in Group 1 and 444 ± 55 ng/mcp in Group 2 (P = 0.036).

Lymph node involvement was predictive of mortality from breast carcinoma (P = 0.0003), but did not correlate with mean tissue ferritin concentration (P = 0.082). 10/10 (100%) patients who had both low tissue ferritin concentration and absence of lymph node involvement were in Group 1.

The correlation of breast tissue ferritin concentration with histopathologic dedifferentiation and with prognosis suggests tumor tissue ferritin as a marker of malignant potential.

Key words

ferritin nodal status prognostic factors 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert E. Weinstein
    • 1
  • Bernice H. Bond
    • 2
  • Boris K. Silberberg
    • 3
  • Clarence B. Vaughn
    • 1
  • Perla Subbaiah
    • 4
  • David R. Pieper
    • 5
  1. 1.From Providence Hospital, Department of MedicineSouthfieldUSA
  2. 2.Department of ImmunopathologyHenry Ford HospitalDetroitUSA
  3. 3.Department of PathologySouthfieldUSA
  4. 4.Department of Mathematic SciencesOakland UniversityRochesterUSA
  5. 5.Department of PhysiologySouthfieldUSA

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