Utility of Serum and Urine uPAR Levels for Diagnosis of Breast Cancer

  • Soydinc, Hilal Oguz (Basic Oncology Department, Oncology Institute, Istanbul University) ;
  • Duranyildiz, Derya (Basic Oncology Department, Oncology Institute, Istanbul University) ;
  • Guney, Nese (Medical Oncology Department, Oncology Institute, Istanbul University) ;
  • Derin, Duygu (Medical Oncology Department, Oncology Institute, Istanbul University) ;
  • Yasasever, Vildan (Basic Oncology Department, Oncology Institute, Istanbul University)
  • Published : 2012.06.30


Malignant tumors have a capacity to degrade the extracellular matrix by controlled proteolysis. One system involved in these processes is the urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) system. uPAR levels are elevated in tumors from several types of cancer. Our study was planned to investigate serum and urine levels of uPAR in breast cancer patients (n=180) and healthy controls (n=60) by ELISA. Serum (p<0.001) and urine (p<0.001) uPAR values in the patients were both significantly elevated. High serum and urine levels of uPAR can be used as diagnostic tools in lymph node positive patients.


  1. Abendstein B, Daxenbichler G, Windbichler G, et al (2000) Predictive value of uPA, PAI-1, Her-2 and VEGF in the serum of ovarian cancer patients. Anticancer Res, 20, 569-72.
  2. Andreasen PA, Kjoller L, Christensen L, Duffy MJ (1997). The urokinase-type plasminogen activator system in cancer metastasis: a review. Int J Cancer, 72, 1-22.<1::AID-IJC1>3.0.CO;2-Z
  3. Begum FD, Hogdall CK, Kjaer SK, et al (2004). The prognostic value of plasma soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) levels in stage III ovarian cancer patients. Anticancer Res, 24,1981-5.
  4. Blasi F (1999). Proteolysis, cell adhesion, chemotaxis, and invasiveness are regulated by the u-PA-u-PAR-PAI-1 system. Thromb Haemost, 82, 298-304.
  5. Bossuyt PM, Reitsma JB, Bruns DE et al (2004). STARD Group. Towards complete and accurate reporting of studies of diagnostic accuracy: the STARD initiative. Fam Pract, 21, 4-10.
  6. Casella R, Shariat SF, Monoski MA, Lerner SP (2002). Urinary levels of urokinase-type plasminogen activator and its receptor in the detection of bladder carcinoma. Cancer, 15, 2494-9.
  7. De Koning H, Boer R, Warmerdam P, Beemsterboer PM, Van der Maas PJ (1995). Quantitative interpretation of agespecific mortality reductions from the Swedish breast cancer screening trials. J Natl Cancer Inst, 87, 1217-23.
  8. Duffy MJ, Maguire TM, McDermott EW, O'Higgins N (1999). Urokinase plasminogen activator: a prognostic marker in multiple types of cancer. J Surg Oncol, 71, 130-5.<130::AID-JSO14>3.0.CO;2-9
  9. Duffy M J (2007). Role of tumor markers in patients with solid cancers: A critical review. Eur J Intern Med, 18,175-84.
  10. Duffy MJ, Duggan C (2004). The urokinase plasminogen activator system: a rich source of tumour markers for the individualised management of patients with cancer. Clin Biochem, 37, 541-8.
  11. Ecke TH, Schlechte HH, Schulze G, Lenk SV, Loening SA (2005). Four tumour markers for urinary bladder cancertissue polypeptide antigen (TPA), HER-2/neu (ERB B2), urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) and TP53 mutation. Anticancer Res, 25, 635-41.
  12. Fisher JL, Field CL, Zhou H, et al (2000). Urokinase plasminogen activator system gene expression is increased in human breast carcinoma and its bone metastases-a comparison of normal breast tissue, non invasive carcinoma and osseous metastases. Breast Cancer Res Treat, 61, 1-12.
  13. Gong SJ, Rha SY, Chung HC, et al (2000). Tissue urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor levels in breast cancer. Int J Mol Med, 6, 301-5.
  14. Han B, Nakamura M, Mori I, Nakamura Y, Kakudo K (2005). Urokinase-type plasminogen activator system and breast cancer (Review). Oncol Rep, 14, 105-12.
  15. Hjertner O, Qvigstad G, Hjorth-Hansen H, et al (2000) Expression of urokiase plasminogen activator and the urokinase plasminogen activator receptor in myeloma cells. Br J Haematol, 109, 815-22.
  16. Mabrouk RA, Ali-Labib R (2003). Detection of urokinase plasminogen activator receptor and c-erbB-2 in sera of patients with breast and ovarian carcinoma. Clin Biochem, 36, 537-43.
  17. Petersen GM, Brensinger JD, Johnson KA, Giardiello FM (1999). Genetic testing and counseling for hereditary forms of colorectal cancer. Cancer, 86, 2540-50.<2540::AID-CNCR11>3.0.CO;2-8
  18. Sier CF, Stephens R, Bizik J, et al (1998). The level of urokinasetype plasminogen receptor is increased in serum of ovarian cancer patients. Cancer Res, 58, 1843-9.
  19. Sier CF, Sidenius N, Mariani A, et al (1999). Presence of urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor in urine of cancer patients and its possible clinical relevance. Lab Invest, 79, 717-22.
  20. Tabar L, Fageberg CJ, Gad A, et al (1985). Reduction in mortality from breast cancer after mass screening with mammography. Randomised trial from the breast cancer screening working group of the swedish national board of health and welfare. Lancet, 8433, 829-32.
  21. Yasasever V, Camlica H, Duranyildiz D, et al (2007). Macrophage migration inhibitory factor in cancer. Cancer Invest, 25, 715-9.

Cited by

  1. Urine soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor levels correlate with proteinuria in Puumala hantavirus infection vol.276, pp.4, 2014,
  2. Downregulation of galectin-3 causes a decrease in uPAR levels and inhibits the proliferation, migration and invasion of hepatocellular carcinoma cells vol.32, pp.1, 2014,