Sixty women admitted to the King's College Hospital group for biopsy of a lump in the breast have been followed sequentially for one year. Thirty women had early operable breast cancer and 30 had benign breast disease. Each patient had 10 serum proteins measured preoperatively and postoperatively at three months and at one year. The patients with breast cancer had significantly higher levels of beta2 glycoprotein preoperatively and caeruloplasmin at one year postoperatively than those with benign breast disease. There were a number of significant correlations between serum protein levels and the progression of breast cancer as measured by the clinical score. There were significant correlations with caeruloplasmin preoperatively and at three months postoperatively. Prealbumin and haemopexin showed correlations preoperatively; alpha1 antitrypsin and beta2 glycoprotein only correlated at three months postoperatively. A longer follow-up will be required to establish the value of serum protein changes which could predict the development of metastases in patients with breast cancer.
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