Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide, identification of new biomarkers for early diagnosis and detection will improve the clinical outcome of breast cancer patients. In the present study, we determined serum levels of vitronectin (VN) in 93 breast cancer patients, 30 benign breast lesions, 9 precancerous lesions, and 30 healthy individuals by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Serum VN level was significantly higher in patients with stage 0–I primary breast cancer than in healthy individuals, patients with benign breast lesion or precancerous lesions, as well as those with breast cancer of higher stages. Serum VN level was significantly and negatively correlated with tumor size, lymph node status, and clinical stage (p < 0.05 in all cases). In addition, VN displayed higher area under curve (AUC) value (0.73, 95 % confidence interval (CI) [0.62–0.84]) than carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) (0.64, 95 % CI [0.52–0.77]) and cancer antigen 15-3 (CA 15-3) (0.69, 95 % CI [0.58–0.81]) when used to distinguish stage 0–I cancer and normal control. Importantly, the combined use of three biomarkers yielded an improvement in receiver operating characteristic curve with an AUC of 0.83, 95 % CI [0.74–0.92]. Taken together, our current study showed for the first time that serum VN is a promising biomarker for early diagnosis of breast cancer when combined with CEA and CA15-3.
Breast cancer Early stage Serum Diagnosis
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We are grateful to the patients for allowing the use of their sera for this research project. This work was supported by the National High-tech Research and Development Program (2011AA02A120, 2011–2015).
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