Research Article

Secretion of immunoreactive calcitonin by human breast carcinomas.

Br Med J 1975; 4 doi: (Published 25 October 1975) Cite this as: Br Med J 1975;4:197
  1. R C Coombes,
  2. G C Easty,
  3. S I Detre,
  4. C J Hillyard,
  5. U Stevens,
  6. S I Girgis,
  7. L S Galante,
  8. L Heywood,
  9. I Macintyre,
  10. A M Neville


    Twenty-three out of 28 patients with metastatic breast carcinoma and one out of 13 patients with localised disease had raised levels of plasma immunoreactive calcitonin. Monolayer cultures of breast carcinomas maintained for up to 10 weeks released immunoreactive calcitonin, and a primary breast carcinoma passaged in "nude" mice for over a year contained material immunologically and chromatographically resembling the monomeric form of human calcitonin. These studies indicate that breast carcinomas can produce calcitonin and that plasma calcitonin measurements may be useful in staging patients with breast carcinomas.