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  • Author: Nina Čas Sikošek x
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Open access

Nina Fokter Dovnik, Darja Arko, Nina Čas Sikošek and Iztok Takač



Breast cancer is increasingly diagnosed in the early stages without regional nodal involvement. The aim of the present study was to determine the 5-year overall (OS) and breast cancer specific survival (BCSS) for patients with node-negative breast cancer treated at the University Medical Centre Maribor, and compare it with survival at the national level.


Medical records were searched for information on patients with lymph node-negative invasive breast cancer who received primary treatment at the University Medical Centre Maribor in the period 2000–2009. Information on all Slovenian node-negative breast cancer patients diagnosed in the same period was obtained from the Cancer Registry of Republic of Slovenia. Time trends in survival were assessed by comparing the periods 2000–2004 and 2005–2009.


The 5-year OS and BCSS of patients treated in Maribor in the period 2000–2009 were 92.3% (95% CI, 90.5%– 94.1%) and 96.4% (95% CI, 95.2%–97.6%), respectively, and did not differ from the corresponding OS and BCSS for Slovenian patients. Although the improvement in OS for patients from Maribor diagnosed in the period 2005–2009 compared to 2000–2004 did not reach statistical significance (HR 0.73; 95% CI, 0.51–1.05; p=0.086), BCSS significantly improved over the same time periods (HR 0.53; 95% CI, 0.30–0.94; p=0.028).


Survival of node-negative breast cancer patients treated at the University Medical Centre Maribor is comparable to survival of corresponding patients at the national level. The rising number of long-term breast cancer survivors places additional importance on survivorship care.

Open access

Maja Lampelj, Darja Arko, Nina Cas-Sikosek, Rajko Kavalar, Maja Ravnik, Barbara Jezersek-Novakovic, Sarah Dobnik, Nina Fokter Dovnik and Iztok Takac


Background. Urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and plasminogen activator inhibitor type-1 (PAI-1) play a key role in tumour invasion and metastasis. High levels of both proteolytic enzymes are associated with poor prognosis in breast cancer patients. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the correlation between traditional prognostic factors and uPA and PAI-1 expression in primary tumour of breast cancer patients.

Patients and methods. 606 primary breast cancer patients were enrolled in the prospective study in the Department of gynaecological oncology and breast oncology at the University Medical Centre Maribor between the years 2004 and 2010. We evaluated the traditional prognostic factors (age, menopausal status, tumour size, pathohistological type, histologic grade, lymph node status, lymphovascular invasion and hormone receptor status), together with uPA and PAI-1. We used Spearman’s rank correlation, Mann Whitney U test and χ2 test for statistical analysis.

Results. Our findings indicate a positive correlation between uPA and tumour size (p < 0.001), grade (p < 0.001), histological type (p < 0.001), lymphovascular invasion (p = 0.01) and a negative correlation between uPA and hormone receptor status (p < 0.001). They also indicate a positive correlation between PAI-1 and tumour size (p = 0.004), grade (p < 0.001), pathohistological type (p < 0.001) and negative correlation between PAI-1 and hormone receptor status (p = 0.002).

Conclusions. Our study showed a relationship between uPA and PAI-1 and traditional prognostic factors. Their role as prognostic and predictive factors remains to be further evaluated.