Purpose: Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) are proteolytic enzymes implicated in cancer progression and metastasis. We sought to determine the role of epithelial (tumor cell - derived) and stromal (host-derived) expression of MMPs in predicting the clinical outcome of patients with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Experimental Design: MMP-2, MMP-9, and membrane type 1 (MT1)-MMP expression was evaluated using immunohistochemistry in 90 invasive EOCs, and samples were scored for epithelial and stromal staining. Results were correlated with clinicopathologic characteristics using univariate and multivariate analyses. Results: High expression of MMP-2, MMP-9, and MT1-MMP in tumor epithelium was detected in 54%, 97%, and 100% of cases, and in stromal compartments, in 38%, 70%, and 38% of cases, respectively. High stromal expression of MMP-2, MMP-9, and MT1-MMP was significantly associated with aggressive features such as high stage, high grade ascites, and positive lymph node status. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that high epithelial and stromal expression of MMP-2, MMP-9, and MT1-MMP were each significantly associated with shorter disease-specific survival (DSS; P < 0.01). On tree-structured survival analysis, patients with strong epithelial MT1-MMP expression had the shortest DSS, whereas patients with moderate epithelial MT1-MMP and low stromal MMP-9 expression had the longest DSS (P < 0.01). On multivariate analysis, high stromal expression of MMP-9 (P = 0.01) and MT1-MMP (P = 0.04), strong epithelial MT1-MMP (P = 0.01) and high stage (P = 0.04) were independent predictors of poor DSS. Conclusions: Overexpression of stromal MMP-9 and MT1-MMP is independently associated with shorter DSS in EOC. Thus, host-derived MMPs are valuable predictors of clinical outcome in EOC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research