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Open Access Research article

Serum tryptase, mast cells positive to tryptase and microvascular density evaluation in early breast cancer patients: possible translational significance

Ilaria Marech1, Michele Ammendola2, Rosario Sacco2, Gennaro Stefano Capriuolo3, Rosa Patruno3, Rosangela Rubini3, Maria Luposella4, Valeria Zuccalà5, Eufemia Savino6, Cosmo Damiano Gadaleta1, Domenico Ribatti78* and Girolamo Ranieri1

Author Affiliations

1 Interventional Radiology Unit with Integrated Section of Translational Medical Oncology, National Cancer Research Centre IstitutoTumori “Giovanni Paolo II”, Bari, Italy

2 Department of Medical and Surgery Science, Clinical Surgery Unit, University of Catanzaro “Magna Graecia” Medical School, Catanzaro, Italy

3 Section of Animal Health, Department of Prevention, ASL BAT, Bari, Italy

4 Department of Medical and Surgery Science, Cardiovascular Disease Unit, University of Catanzaro “Magna Graecia” Medical School, Catanzaro, Italy

5 Department of Medical and Surgery Science, Pathology Unit, University of Catanzaro “Magna Graecia” Medical School, Catanzaro, Italy

6 Department of Experimental Oncology, Clinical Pathology Laboratory National Cancer Research Centre IstitutoTumori “Giovanni Paolo II”, Bari, Italy

7 Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neurosciences and Sensory Organs, University of Bari Medical School, Bari, Italy

8 National Cancer Institute “Giovanni Paolo II”, Bari, Italy

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BMC Cancer 2014, 14:534  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-534

Published: 24 July 2014

Abstract

Background

Tryptase is a serine protease released from mast cells that plays a role in tumor angiogenesis. In this study we aimed to evaluate serum tryptase levels in 105 female early breast cancer patients before (STLBS) and after (STLAS) radical surgical resection, mast cell density positive to tryptase (MCDPT) and microvascular density (MVD).

Methods

STLBS and STLAS were assessed using the UniCAP Tryptase Fluoroenzyme immunoassay. Tumor sections were immunostained with a primary anti-tryptase antibody and an anti-CD-34 antibody by means of immunohistochemistry.

Results

The mean ± 1 standard deviation STLBS and STLAS was 7.18 ± 2.63 μg/L, and 5.13 ± 2.21 respectively and a significant difference between mean levels was found (p = 0.0001) by student t-test. A strong correlation between STLBS and MVD (r = 0.81, p = 0.0001); STLBS and MCDPT (r = 0.69, p = 0.003); and MCDPT and MVD (r = 0.77; p = 0.0001) was found.

Conclusions

Results demonstrated higher STLBS in breast cancer patients, indicating an involvement of MC tryptase in breast cancer angiogenesis. Therefore, serum tryptase levels may play a role as a novel surrogate angiogenic marker predictive of response to radical surgery in breast cancer patients. In this patients setting, it’s intriguing to hypothesize that tryptase inhibitors might be evaluated in clinical trials.

Keywords:
Angiogenesis; Breast cancer; Surrogate marker; Mast cells; Serum tryptase; Tissue tryptase