Medline ® Abstract for Reference 5
Hypercalcemia in breast cancer.
Francini G, Petrioli R, Maioli E, Gonnelli S, Marsili S, Aquino A, Bruni S
Clin Exp Metastasis. 1993;11(5):359.
Hypercalcemia is relatively frequent in malignancy with or without osteolytic bone metastases. It is thought that neoplastic cells may secrete substances which not only stimulate osteoclastic activity but are also capable of modifying the absorption, excretion, and resorption of calcium and phosphate ions. Since 1987, we have studied 24 breast cancer patients with hypercalcemia (22 with bone metastases and two without). The group of 22 patients with bone metastases were divided into two subgroups. The first consisted of 10 patients with high serum levels of humoral factors, such as parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP), and/or prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and/or interleukin 1 (IL-1), and high levels of bone markers, such as alkaline phosphatase, bone Gla protein and urinary hydroxyproline. The second subgroup consisted of 12 patients with high levels of bone markers alone. Bone histologic analysis showed an osteoclastic activation surrounding metastatic tumor tissue in six out of 10 patients of the first subgroup, while an evident osteolysis caused by the tumor cells was noted in seven out of 12 patients of the second subgroup. The two patients without bone metastases showed normal biochemistry and bone histologic examination. The authors, having tried to explain the pathogenesis of hypercalcemia, emphasize the importance of humoral factors secreted by tumor cells as a direct or indirect cause of hypercalcemia. The origin of hypercalcemia remains unclear in two patients without bone metastases.
Institute of Medical Pathology, University of Siena, Italy.