Serum Lactate Dehydrogenase Is Prognostic for Survival in Patients with Bone Metastases from Breast Cancer: A Retrospective Analysis in Bisphosphonate-Treated Patients
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PURPOSE: Survival is highly variable in women with bone metastases from breast cancer and prognostic factors are needed. We analyzed data from a phase III trial comparing zoledronic acid (ZOL) with pamidronate in patients with breast cancer and bone metastases to identify variables prognostic for overall survival. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Patients who received ZOL (n = 435) with bone marker assessments and complete baseline data were included. Relative risks (RR) of death over 24 months were assessed using a stratified Cox regression analysis. A reduced model was generated using stepwise backward elimination until only significant (P < 0.05) variables remained. RESULTS: Only 5 of 19 variables analyzed remained significantly prognostic for survival in the reduced multivariate model. These included age more than 50 years (RR 1.78-2.53, P ≤ 0.01 for each decade >50 versus ≤ 50); Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General (FACT-G) score less than 65 units (P < 0.05 vs. ≥ 75 units); impaired (PS ≥ 1) versus fully active (PS = 0) Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (RR 1.74, P < 0.01); prior versus no prior chemotherapy (RR 1.97; P < 0.01), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels. Lactate dehydrogenase ≥ upper limit of normal (ULN) but < 2 × ULN correlated with a two-fold increased risk of death, and LDH > 2 × ULN correlated with a six-fold increased risk of death versus LDH < ULN (P < 0.0001 for both). Baseline bone marker levels were not significantly correlated with survival after adjustment for other significant covariates. CONCLUSIONS: This retrospective analysis shows that LDH levels correlate strongly with survival in patients with bone metastases from breast cancer and confirms the relevance of previously described prognostic factors.
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