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Jan 2013 Oncology letters

Plasma levels of matrix metalloproteinases 2 and 9 correlate with histological grade in breast cancer patients.


Vasaturo F, Solai F, Malacrino C, Nardo T, Vincenzi B, Modesti M, Scarpa S


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are proteolytic enzymes involved in the process of tumor invasion and metastasis that are found throughout tissues and also in the plasma. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the evaluation of plasma concentrations of MMPs 2, 3 and 9 may have clinical significance in breast cancer. Therefore, sera obtained from 80 patients with breast neoplasia (50 carcinomas and 30 fibroadenomas) were collected before and 96 h after surgery and the concentrations of MMPs 2, 3 and 9 were quantified using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The mean expression level of MMP 2 was significantly higher in carcinoma compared with that in fibroadenoma patients, while there was no significant difference for MMPs 3 and 9. In addition, the group of carcinoma patients was analyzed in order to compare the mean values for each MMP obtained before and after surgery. However, the differences between pre- and post-surgery values for all three MMPs were not statistically significant. Furthermore, the plasma levels of each MMP were correlated with certain clinicopathological parameters of the tumors and we observed a significant and direct correlation between the concentrations of MMPs 2 and 9 and tumor histological grade. These data suggest that the quantification of plasma MMP 2 and MMP 9 levels may provide additional clinical information of the tumor and it is, therefore, a possible prognostic index for breast cancer.

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