Tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase 5b is a useful serum marker for extensive bone metastasis in breast cancer patients.

Clin Cancer Res 2005 Jan;11(2 Pt 1):544-50

Breast Cancer Research Group, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, No. 325 Cheng Kung Road, Section 2, Nei-Hu 114, Taipei, Taiwan.

Purpose: Previous studies showed that serum tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase 5b (TRACP5b) activity was increased in 70% to 94% of breast cancer (BC) patients with bone metastasis (BM). This study aims to determine whether serum TRACP5b is useful for identifying limited or extensive BM in BC patients.

Experimental Design: Serum TRACP5b activity was measured in 168 BC patients, including 81 who were newly diagnosed with early BC, 20 with extraosseous metastasis, 24 with limited BM, and 43 with extensive BM. Serum TRACP5b activity was also measured monthly in 151 patients with early BC until they developed BM. Four hundred and twenty-seven (427) healthy women ages 18 to 90 served as control. One-way ANOVA was used to compare serum TRACP5b among groups. The sensitivity and specificity of serum TRACP5b as a marker for BM were estimated by receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves.

Results: Serum TRACP5b increased with age in healthy women ( P < 0.0001). It was significantly elevated in patients with extensive BM compared with all other groups ( P < 0.0001). ROC analysis established a cutoff value of 4.026 units/L to identify patients with extensive BM with a specificity of 98% and a sensitivity of 93% (area under the curve = 0.9807; 95% CI = 0.9698-0.9915). Among the 151 patients with early BC, 6 developed limited BM and 2 developed extensive BM during the follow-up period. Serum TRACP5b remained below the cutoff value in patients with limited BM, but became significantly increased in those whose BM became extensive.

Conclusion: Serum TRACP5b activity is a useful diagnostic marker for extensive BM in patients with BC.

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January 2005
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