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Clinical significance of serum levels of matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2) and its tissue inhibitor (TIMP-2) in gastric cancer

DOI: 10.5603/4153

Keywords: gastric cancer , MMP-2 , TIMP-2 , tumor marker

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Abstract:

Matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2) is able to degrade type IV collagen, and thus plays a key role in the migration of tumor cells. MMP-2 activity is inhibited by its tissue inhibitor (TIMP-2). The imbalance between MMPs and TIMPs may facilitate progression of cancer cells. The aim of this study was to compare the clinical importance of MMP-2 and TIMP-2 to that of classical tumor markers, namely carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and carbohydrate antigen (CA 19-9) in the diagnosis of gastric cancer (GC) by calculating the diagnostic criteria and estimating the levels of MMP-2, TIMP-2, CEA and CA 19-9 in GC patients in relation to clinicopathological features of cancer. We found that serum levels of MMP-2 and TIMP-2 were significantly lower, whereas serum tumor markers were higher, in GC patients than in healthy subjects. Moreover, concentrations of TIMP-2 and CEA correlated with gastric wall infiltration, while CA 19-9 levels correlated with gastric wall infiltration and the presence of nodal metastasis. None of the proteins tested was found to be an independent prognostic factor for GC patients’ survival. The percentage of true positive results of TIMP-2 (61%) was higher than those of MMP-2 (54%) and the classical tumor markers CEA (21%) and CA 19-9 (31%). The highest diagnostic sensitivity was observed for the combined use of TIMP-2 with MMP-2 (77%). The results suggest the greater importance of serum MMP-2 and TIMP-2 than of the classical tumor markers CEA and CA 19-9 in the diagnosis of GC. But this issue requires further investigation. (Folia Histochemica et Cytobiologica 2011; Vol. 49, No. 1, pp. 125–131)

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