The human tissue kallikreins are secreted serine proteases, encoded by a group of homologous genes clustered in tandem on chromosome 19q13.3-4. Human kallikrein 6 and human kallikrein 10 are two new members of this family. Recently, we developed highly sensitive and specific immunofluorometric assays for human kallikrein 6 and human kallikrein 10, which allow for their quantification in tissue extracts and biological fluids. Both human kallikrein 6 and human kallikrein 10 are found to be down-regulated in breast cancer cell lines, suggesting that they may be involved in breast cancer pathogenesis and progression. In this study, we investigated the potential value of human kallikrein 6 and human kallikrein 10 as prognostic and predictive factors in breast cancer. We quantified human kallikrein 6 and human kallikrein 10 protein levels in 749 breast tumour cytosolic extracts and correlated this data with various clinicopathological variables and patient outcomes. Human kallikrein 6 and human kallikrein 10 are positively correlated with each other. Higher human kallikrein 6 and human kallikrein 10 protein levels are associated with younger age, pre-menopausal, status and tumours which are negative for oestrogen and progesterone receptors. No correlation was found between human kallikrein 6 and human kallikrein 10 levels and tumour size, grade, and nodal status. Survival analysis showed that neither human kallikrein 6 nor human kallikrein 10 are related to the rate of relapse-free and overall survival. In the analysis with respect to response to tamoxifen therapy, although human kallikrein 6 levels were not associated with tamoxifen responsiveness, higher levels of human kallikrein 10 were significantly associated with a poor response rate. This association remained significant in the multivariate analysis. Furthermore, higher human kallikrein 10 levels were significantly related with a short progression-free and post-relapse overall survival after start of tamoxifen treatment for advanced disease. Taken together, our results suggest that although human kallikrein 6 and human kallikrein 10 are not prognostic markers for breast cancer, human kallikrein 10 is an independent predictive marker for response of tamoxifen therapy.

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doi.org/10.1038/sj.bjc.6600323, hdl.handle.net/1765/62984
British Journal of Cancer
Department of Medical Oncology

Luo, L.-Y, Diamandis, E.P, Look, M.P, Soosaipillai, A.P, & Foekens, J.A. (2002). Higher expression of human kallikrein 10 in breast cancer tissue predicts tamoxifen resistance. British Journal of Cancer, 86(11), 1790–1796. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6600323