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Allgayer, Heike; Babic, Rudolf; Beyer, Bianca C. M.; Grützner, Klaus-Uwe; Tarabichi, Anwar; Schildberg, Friedrich Wilhelm; Heiss, Markus Maria (1998): Prognostic relevance of MMP-2 (72-kD collagenase IV) in gastric cancer. In: Oncology, No. 2: pp. 152-160




The association of MMP-2 (matrix metalloproteinase 2, 72-kD collagenase IV) with invasive and metastatic capacity of tumor cells has implicated a potential role in the prognosis for cancer patients. However, no larger study has been done to prove this hypothesis. The present study was therefore designed to investigate the prognostic impact of MMP-2 in a prospective series of 203 gastric cancer patients. MMP-2 expression was measured immunohistochemically and scored semiquantitatively (score 0-3) in carcinoma cells, and results were correlated with clinicopathological tumor parameters and parameters of the urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) system. Survival analyses were done using the Kaplan-Meier method (log-rank statistics) and multivariate Cox analysis. Significant correlations were found for MMP-2 and Lauren's classification, M stage and proteases/inhibitors of the uPA system in the primary tumor. Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed an association of increasing MMP-2 expression with worse prognosis. This was especially seen in patients with a parallel high expression of uPA receptor. However, differences in survival probabilities between low and high MMP-2 levels were not significant. In a separate analysis of diffuse-type cancers, MMP-2 was significantly associated with disease-free (p = 0.0056) and overall survival (p = 0.0426). Multivariately, MMP-2 was not an independent parameter. Our results demonstrate that there is an association of immunohistochemical detection of MMP-2 with prognosis of cancer patients. For diffuse gastric cancers, it is a significant prognostic parameter, however, not of independent impact. The study further suggests that consideration of interrelated tumor-associated proteases like uPA receptor in combination with MMP-2 may improve its prognostic power.