Data supports p27 as cancer survival biomarker

A research group led by Peggy Porter, M.D., of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center says that the protein p27 may be an effective biomarker in predicting the likelihood of surviving breast cancer. Researchers have known for years that p27 prevents cells from dividing and low levels of p27 are associated with a poor prognosis in breast cancer as well as other cancers. For this study, researchers were able to examine the level of p27 with the outcomes of patients involved in two clinical trials of two standard chemotherapy treatments.

The researchers found that low p27 expression is associated with poor breast-cancer prognosis, particularly among women with hormone-receptor-positive tumors, which depend on the hormones estrogen and progesterone to grow. Specifically, they found the five-year survival was 91 percent in women whose tumors had high p27 expression, as compared to a survival rate of 85 percent in women whose tumors exhibited low p27 expression. The researchers found no association between p27 expression and decreased survival among women with hormone-receptor-negative tumors.

- check out the release on the biomarker research