The estrogen and progesterone receptor assay is presently carried out in five Swiss laboratories (Basel, Geneva, Lausanne, Locarno, Zürich). A regular quality control of the method applied allows clinical comparisons. Estrogen receptor contents were found to be higher in postmenopausal women. Mammary carcinomas exhibited a relative decrease of type II cAMP-dependent protein kinase as compared to mammary dysplasias. Type II protein kinase is implied in the control of the cell proliferation. Two significantly different groups with high and low cAMP-binding affinities (high > 5 pmol, low < 5 pmol) were found in the carcinoma tissues. A new therapy with DBcAMP is suggested in carcinoma patients with high levels of cAMP binding resulting in an improved prognosis rate of the endocrine therapy (60%). Low specific activity levels (< 200) of cAMP-dependent protein kinase within the carcinoma group (n = 51) caused a significantly higher rate of metastatic disease raising the possibility to use this enzyme as a biological marker for the prediction of metastasis.

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