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Gynecol Oncol. 2004 Sep;94(3):699-704.

Gelatinases A and B (MMP-2 and MMP-9) in endometrial cancer-MMP-9 correlates to the grade and the stage.

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Department of Oncology, The University of Umeå, Sweden.



Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have been linked to aggressive behavior in several malignancies. Gelatinases (MMP-2 and MMP-9) in particular are prognostic factors in many adeno- and epithelial cancers. However, no conclusive data exist concerning the role of gelatinases in endometrial cancer.


Eighty-eight patients with endometrial cancer, treated between 1988 and 1993 in Umeå University Hospital, were included. MMP-2 and MMP-9 proteins were analyzed immunohistochemically from paraffin-embedded tissues by using specific monoclonal antibodies. The staining results were compared to the clinical data.


Fifty-two percent of the cases were positive for MMP-9 and 72% for MMP-2. The overexpression of the proteins of either MMP-2 or MMP-9 was associated with poor survival. The predictive value of MMP-2 expression was most distinct in stage I cancers. An association was found between the positivity of MMP-2 and MMP-9. Only 3% of the cases were highly positive for both gelatinases and 18% of the cases were negative for both MMPs. Both gelatinases correlated to the histological grade. MMP-9 also correlated to the clinical stage of the disease, whereas MMP-2 did not. There was no apparent association with either depth of invasion, menopausal status, or the age of the patient.


MMP-2 and MMP-9 could serve as markers for the clinical behavior of endometrial cancer. They may further be linked to a tendency to cancer relapse. Thus, these gelatinases may turn out to be potentially useful in decision making about the need for an adjuvant treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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