Comparison of urinary transforming growth factor-alpha in women with disseminated breast cancer and healthy control women.

K. Stromberg, M. Duffy, C. Fritsch, W. R. Hudgins, E. S. Sharp, L. D. Murphy, M. E. Lippman, S. E. Bates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In an effort to explore the use of polypeptide growth factors as potential markers for cancer detection, we have identified the presence of transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-alpha) in pooled urine of patients with metastatic breast cancer by a commercial radioimmunoassay (RIA) based on a rabbit antiserum raised to the C-terminal 17aa synthetic fragment of rat TGF-alpha. This TGF-alpha RIA detected both high molecular weight (HMW) and low molecular weight (LMW) forms of TGF-alpha in the conditioned media of a breast cancer cell line (MDA-MB-231) and in the urine of healthy women and those with breast cancer. The ratio of HMW to LMW species of TGF-alpha by RIA after Bio-Gel P-100 chromatography was approximately equal in pooled urine samples from both healthy women and those with breast cancer, and in the conditioned media from the cell line MDA-MB-231. Using established procedures for concentrating urinary proteins from 24-h urine samples by adsorption onto methyl-bonded microparticulate silica and selective elution by acetonitrile, TGF-alpha RIA results from women with disseminated breast carcinoma were compared with those of healthy pre- and post-menopausal control women. Analysis indicated a median TGF-alpha value of 981 ng/g urinary creatinine for urine samples from cancer patients (range 608 to 1737) and 642 ng/g creatinine (range 417 to 941) for control urine samples. Although the difference was statistically significant (p less than 0.05), urinary TGF-alpha detection with this assay method appears to have limited usefulness as a diagnostic marker for metastatic human adenocarcinoma of the breast.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-283
Number of pages7
JournalCancer detection and prevention
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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