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Melanoma Res. 2001 Apr;11(2):157-66.

High collagenase-1 expression correlates with a favourable chemoimmunotherapy response in human metastatic melanoma.

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  • 1Department of Oncology/Radiotherapy, Turku University Central Hospital, Finland.


Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are proteolytic enzymes that can degrade extracellular matrix and thus enhance metastasis. We have studied the expression of two collagenolytic MMPs in 37 samples obtained from 26 patients treated for metastatic melanoma. Interestingly, the samples showed a different expression pattern of collagenase-1 (MMP-1) and collagenase-3 (MMP-13). The samples with high expression levels of MMP-1 (n = 18) were more frequently MMP-13 negative (14 out of 18), whereas those with low expression levels of MMP-1 (n = 15) were predominantly positive for MMP-13 (nine out of 15) (P = 0.027). High expression levels of MMP-1 were associated with a favourable response to chemoimmunotherapy. Responders (n = 13) frequently had intensively MMP-1-expressing metastases (nine out of 13), especially those who achieved a complete response (five out of six). Response failures (n = 7) mainly had metastases with a low intensity of MMP-1 expression (six out of seven) (P = 0.019). There was a tendency towards longer survival among patients with intensively MMP-1-expressing tumours (median 14.3 versus 6.7 months, P = 0.068). The high expression levels of MMP-1 correlated with low MIB-1 (to nuclear antigen Ki-67) (P = 0.019) and positivity for MMP-13 was associated with high MIB-1 expression (P = 0.00048), suggesting that their different expression patterns may affect tumour growth and contribute to differences in patient survival.

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