Serum TIMP-1 and response to the aromatase inhibitor letrozole versus tamoxifen in metastatic breast cancer

Allan Lipton, Kim Leitzel, Hilary A. Chaudri-Ross, Dean B. Evans, Suhail M. Ali, Laurence Demers, Peter Hamer, Sheryl Brown-Shimer, Karen Pierce, Victor Gaur, Walter Carney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine the effect of elevated serum TIMP-1 on the response of patients with metastatic breast cancer to an aromatase inhibitor versus tamoxifen. Patients and Methods: Five hundred twenty-two patients estrogen receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer were randomly assigned to receive first-line hormone therapy with letrozole or tamoxifen. Serum tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 (TIMP-1) levels were measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: Pretreatment serum TIMP-1 was elevated in 120 (23%) of 522 patients. Patients with elevated serum TIMP-1 had a significantly reduced objective response rate (19.2% v 30.6%; odds ratio, 0.54; P = .01), duration of response (median, 15.5 v 26.2 months; P = .001), time to treatment progression (TTP; median, 4.5 v 9.2 months; HR, 1.78; P = .0001), time to treatment failure (median, 3.5 v 9.0 months; HR, 1.77; P = .0001), and overall survival (median, 20.3 v 35.8 months; HR, 1.77; P = .0001) compared with patients with normal pretreatment TIMP-1 levels. Letrozole was superior to tamoxifen in both the normal serum TIMP-1 group (median TTP, 11.8 v 8.6 months; P = .003) and in the elevated serum TIMP-1 group (median, 6.1 v 3.2 months; P = .03) In multivariate analysis, elevated serum TIMP-1 remained an independent predictor of both shorter TTP (HR, 1.46; P = .002) and survival (HR, 1.44; P = .002), as did serum HER-2. Combined analysis of both serum TIMP-1 and HER-2/neu conferred additional ability to predict significantly different clinical outcomes compared to using either biomarker alone. Conclusion: Patients with elevated pretreatment serum TIMP-1 had a significantly reduced response and survival. Serum TIMP-1 was an independent predictive and prognostic factor. Blockade of TIMP-1 and HER-2/neu activity may be beneficial in a subset of patients with breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2653-2658
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number16
StatePublished - Sep 15 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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