Journal of Chinese Pharmaceutical Sciences ›› 2014, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (10): 711-715.DOI: 10.5246/jcps.2014.10.090

• Original articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Evaluation of thioredoxin reductase as a novel biomarker in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer

Yanran Fu1, Nong Yang2, Yueqin Li3, Youyun Zhao4, Suofu Ye1, Lihui Liu5, Huihui Zeng1*   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Natural and Biomimetic Drugs, Peking University Health Sciences Center, Beijing 100191, China
    2. Department of Gastroenterology in Cancer Hospital of Hunan Province, Changsha 410013, China
    3. Wuhan Kaixi Med Lab, Wuhan 430000, China
    4. Clinical Laboratory in Hospital Subordinated to Hubei Chinese Medicine University, Wuhan 430000, China
    5. Kaixi Tianjin Medical Co. LTD, Tianjin 300457, China
  • Received:2014-05-15 Revised:2014-06-09 Online:2014-10-31 Published:2014-06-11
  • Contact: Tel.: 86-13683390709, Fax: 86-10-82802878
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 81372266) and Foundation of Tianjin Binhai Science and Technology Plan (Grant No. 2010BK160010).


Overexpression of thioredoxin reductase has been identified in a variety of primary tumors, suggesting the levels of TrxR activity between tumor patients and normal people are potentially different. Here, we performed a study to investigate the differences of TrxR activity between normal people and breast tumor patients, with the expectation that TrxR activity can be considered as a novel biomarker involved in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. In this study, we have demonstrated for the first time that TrxR levels in breast cancer patients before therapy were significantly higher than those of normal people (P<0.05). No significant difference of TrxR activity was found among the patients at different stages of breast tumor progression. In the patient group of TrxR <10 U/mL, evaluation of TrxR activity has shown a high consistency with the results from cancer diagnostic imaging. Overall, these observations suggest TrxR as an effective biomarker to monitor and evaluate the clinical outcome of breast cancer therapeutics, and identify TrxR activity as a novel approach for breast cancer early-stage detection.

Key words: Thioredoxin reductase, Breast cancer, Biomarker, Diagnostic monitor, Drug target

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