Biologic markers in breast carcinoma: Clinical correlations with urinary polyamines

Douglass C. Tormey, T. Phillip Waalkes, Kenneth C. Kuo, Charles W. Gehrke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Urinary polyamine levels were evaluated in patients with breast carcinoma. The individual levels of putrescine, spermidine, spermine, and cadaverine, and the product/precursor levels of putrescine, spermidine, and spermine were analyzed. Elevations of one or more individual polyamines or of the ratios were found in 50% of patients with metastatic disease, 38.5% of preoperative patients, and 35.7% of 5–24 week postoperative N+ patients. Sequential sampling of patients with metastatic disease suggested that changes in elevated polyamine levels tend to reflect the clinical course of the disease, especially for the association of treatment failure with rising elevated values. The presence of one or more elevated parameters prior to treatment of metastatic disease tended to be associated with a higher response rate (85.7 vs. 68.4%) than all normal levels. Five of nine patients who recurred postoperatively had preceding postoperative polyamine elevations. In addition, there was a trend for a shorter disease‐free time among patients with one or more elevated polyamine parameters between 5–24 weeks postoperatively than among patients with normal parameters. These data suggest that measurement of urinary polyamine levels, including calculation of the product/precursor levels, may be a useful clinical adjunct in the management of patients with breast carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-747
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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