Metalloproteinase expression and prognosis in soft tissue sarcomas

M. S. Benassi, G. Gamberi, G. Magagnoli, L. Molendini, P. Ragazzini, M. Merli, F. Chiesa, A. Balladelli, M. Manfrini, F. Bertoni, M. Mercuri, P. Picci

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Background: Degradation of extracellular matrix by tumor-associated proteases can promote cell invasion and metastasis. This study assessed the prognostic role of MMP2, MMP9 metalloproteinases, and of the metalloproteinase inhibitor TIMP2, related to disease-free survival (DFS), in soft tissue sarcoma (STS) patients. Materials and methods: Level and distribution of MMP2, MMP9, and TIMP2 expression were evaluated on 73 biopsies by immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting. Biopsies included 29 liposarcomas, 29 synovial sarcomas, and 15 malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNST). Association between DFS and overall survival with different variables was assessed. Results: In terms of DFS, increased MMP2 reactivity and lack of TIMP2 expression were significant for poor prognosis in all samples (P = 0.0005 and P = 0.006 respectively). MMP2 correlated to histologic grade (P = 0.005). Lack of TIMP2 expression was a poor prognostic factor for DFS in synovial sarcoma (P = 0.009), while MMP2 and MMP9 correlated with metastasis (P = 0.008 and P = 0.005, respectively) and grade (P = 0.001 and P = 0.04 respectively) in liposarcoma. Conclusions: These prognostic markers that influence growth and spread of tumor cells might be useful to define tumor aggressiveness and risk of the metastasic event.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-80
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001



  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Metalloproteinase inhibitor
  • Metalloproteinases
  • Prognosis
  • Soft tissue sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Cite this

Benassi, M. S., Gamberi, G., Magagnoli, G., Molendini, L., Ragazzini, P., Merli, M., Chiesa, F., Balladelli, A., Manfrini, M., Bertoni, F., Mercuri, M., & Picci, P. (2001). Metalloproteinase expression and prognosis in soft tissue sarcomas. Annals of Oncology, 12(1), 75-80.