Diagnostic relevance of a novel multiplex immunoassay panel in breast cancer.
Multiple factors contribute to the development and progression of breast cancer. Markers of tumor growth and invasion, cell death, immune activation, and angiogenesis can be assessed in parallel by a novel multiplex immunoassay panel. The diagnostic performance of a multiplex cancer biomarker magnetic bead panel comprising 24 tumor associated parameters was evaluated in sera of 154 women including 77 patients with breast cancer, 10 with precancerous lesions, 31 with benign breast diseases, and 36 healthy controls. Marker levels were log-transformed for variance stabilization. Significance testing was done using t-test or Wilcoxon rank-sum test with correction of p values for multiple testing. Furthermore, receiver operating characteristic analyses were performed. Serum levels of several biomarkers were significantly (p<= 0.001) higher in cancer patients than in healthy controls, particularly alpha-fetoprotein, cancer antigen 15-3, cancer antigen 19-9, migration inhibitory factor, carcinoembryonic antigen, cancer antigen 125, hepatocyte growth factor, soluble Fas, tumor necrosis factor-?, stem cell factor, and osteopontin. As most markers were also elevated in benign breast diseases, only cancer antigen 15-3 showed significant differences to cancer patients (p<= 0.001). The resulting areas under the curve in receiver operating characteristic curves for discrimination between benign and malignant breast diseases achieved 0.71 with a sensitivity of 33.8% at 95% specificity. Multiplexing enables parallel analysis of different biomarker classes for cancer detection. Established cancer antigen 15-3 proved to be most relevant for differential diagnosis.