Background. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play an important role in cancer invasion and metastasis. In colorectal cancer a high expression of MMPs activity has been shown in cancer tissue. Aim of our study was to evaluate the circulating levels of MMP-9 and MMP-2 in colorectal cancer patients. Methods. Circulating levels of MMP-9 and MMP-2 were measured in 60 patients with colorectal cancer and in 19 subjects without cancer as control group by Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA) levels were measured by an immunoassay. Results. MMP-9 median levels were significantly different in patients (3.18 ng/mL, range 0.39 ng/mL-40 ng/mL compared to the controls (1.15 ng/mL range 0.48 ng/mL-4.34 ng/mL, p = 0.0003). MMP-2 values were not different in patients (193 ng/mL range 75 ng/mL-800 ng/mL) compared to the controls (345 ng/mL range 205-448 ng/mL. Moreover MMP-9 plasma levels were not different in various histological tumor grades and Duke's stages, whereas CEA tended to be higher in patients with D Dukes' stage. No correlation was found between CEA and MMP-9 levels. Conclusions. In conclusion, this study suggests that, in patients with colorectal cancer, MMP-9 seems to be an independent marker uncorrelated to other tumor markers like CEA, but might reflect other aspect of the tumor behavior. A prospective study with long term follow up of the patients will be necessary to determine whether plasma MMP-9 levels are predictive of more invasive and metastatic colorectal cancer.
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||European Journal of Laboratory Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|
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