Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 41–50 | Cite as

Physiological and pathological changes of plasma urokinase-type plasminogen activator, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, and urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor levels in healthy females and breast cancer patients

  • Hyun Cheol Chung
  • Sun Young Rha
  • Joon Oh Park
  • Nae Choon Yoo
  • Joo Hang Kim
  • Jae Kyung Roh
  • Jin Sik Min
  • Kyong Sik Lee
  • Byung Soo Kim
  • Jin Ju Kim


The plasma urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), and urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) levels were measured in healthy volunteers and breast cancer patients. In pre-menopause healthy females, blood was sampled weekly during one menstruation cycle and menstruation phases (follicular, ovulatory, luteal) were determined by FSH/LH levels. uPA, PAI-1, and uPAR levels were at the nadir during ovulatory phase. uPA level was highest at follicular phase while PAI-1 level was highest at luteal phase. In comparison between pre- and post-menopause states, uPA and uPAR levels were higher in post-menopause state while PAI-1 level was higher in pre-menopause state. In breast cancer patients, uPA, PAI-1, and uPAR positive rates were low when we use the menopause-state-unmatched cut-off points. As we adjusted the cut-off points by menopause states, the PAI-1 positivity increased mainly in post-menopause cancer patients. These findings suggest that there is a minor but possible sequential change of these molecules during menstruation cycle which might blur the pathological positivity in pre-menopause cancer patients. The pathological elevation of PAI-1 was well detected in post-menopause cancer patients, but this elevation did not correlate with tumor burden such as number of metastatic sites or metastatic location. In conclusion, adjustment of physiological changes of uPA, PAI-1, and uPAR is required in determining pathological elevation of the plasma levels in cancer patients, especially in females.

uPA PAI-1 uPAR plasma menstruation breast cancer 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyun Cheol Chung
    • 1
  • Sun Young Rha
    • 1
  • Joon Oh Park
    • 1
  • Nae Choon Yoo
    • 1
  • Joo Hang Kim
    • 1
  • Jae Kyung Roh
    • 1
  • Jin Sik Min
    • 1
  • Kyong Sik Lee
    • 1
  • Byung Soo Kim
    • 1
  • Jin Ju Kim
    • 2
  1. 1.Yonsei Cancer Research Institute, Yonsei Cancer Center, Department of Internal Medicine, General SurgeryYonsei University College of MedicineSeoulKorea
  2. 2.Department of Clinical PathologyInha University College of MedicineSungnamKorea

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