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Soluble VE-cadherin: A biomarker in metastatic and hormone-resistant breast cancer?



Following a study to identify prognostic factors in patients with metastatic breast cancer resistant to hormone therapy, researchers at the Cancer Biology and Infection laboratory [collaboration] propose that the soluble VE-cadherin as a biomarker of survival of anti-angiogenic therapies.

Published on 27 June 2017
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and the leading cause of cancer death among European women. Metastatic breast cancer is generally considered as a heterogeneous disease for which the actual survival for individual patients varies widely, from just a few months to several years. Thus, stratification of patients into poor and good prognosis groups would lead to better personalised therapeutic approach. Therefore,there is a need of biomarkers to accurately predict outcome metastatic breast cancer patients.

Angiogenesis in breast cancer participates in tumor growth. Researchers from the Invasion Mechanisms in Angiogenesis and Cancer team [Cancer Biology and Infection laboratory] have previously demonstrated [1] that structural modifications of VE-cadherin, a specific biomarker of endothelial cells, are involved in the control of vascular integrity. Thus, phosphorylation and cleavage of VE-cadherin (see letter No. 41) are two processes involved in the destabilization of endothelial junctions.



The « SEMTOF » [2] study, promoted by the Léon Bérard Center, was designed to identify biological prognostic factors in patients with metastatic breast cancer resistant to hormone therapy. This study involved researchers from the Invasion Mechanisms in Angiogenesis and Cancer team because of their expertise on VE-cadherin. The results of this study have shown that a high level of soluble VE-cadherin at the time of the diagnosis was correlated with a poor survival prognosis. Furthermore, a decreased level of so this biomarker after chemotherapy was associated with a good prognosis.


The potential value of soluble VE-cadherin as a survival biomarker for anti-angiogenic therapies is being studied by these two teams on the COMET cohort.

The COMET cohort is a prospective record of 500 patients with metastatic breast cancer treated with the combination of two molecules: paclitaxel and bevacizumab.
Clinicaltrials.gov #NCT01745757

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