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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1999 Dec;58(3):287-93.

MMP-2 positivity and age less than 40 years increases the risk for recurrence in premenopausal patients with node-positive breast carcinoma.

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Department of Oncology and Radiotherapy, Oulu University Hospital, Finland.


Node-positive breast carcinoma is associated with a poor prognosis. Some patients benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy but new treatment modalities should still be developed in order to further increase the cure rate in this patient group. Prognostic factors are needed to define patients for such studies. Here, the prognostic value of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and age was evaluated in 108 premenopausal, node-positive breast carcinoma patients treated with an adjuvant chemotherapy. Expression of MMP-2 protein was studied in paraffin-embedded tissue sections from primary tumors by using specific MMP-2 monoclonal antibody in an immunohistochemical staining. Age less than 40 years predicted 5-year recurrence free survival (RFS) as unfavorable, being 74% in patients 41-49 years of age and 54% in those under age 40 (p = 0.02). The 5-year RFS rate was 85% in patients with an MMP-2 negative primary tumor while it was 65% in the MMP-2 positive patient group. This difference was not, however, statistically significant (p = 0.07). Correlation between hematogenous metastasis and MMP-2 positivity in breast carcinoma was demonstrated for the first time (p = 0.03). A risk group for a relapse was identified using MMP-2 immunohistochemistry and age. The RFS rate in patients less than 40 years with an MMP-2 positive primary tumor was only 50% while it was 74% in other premenopausal patients (p = 0.007). Young age and MMP-2 positivity may, thus, associate with early relapse in node-positive breast carcinoma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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