Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) and heparanase (HPSE) are thought to be involved in tumor progression and metastasis. However, up to now, there are no studies that simultaneously investigated the expression levels of MMP-9 and HPSE in tumor tissue and serum of breast cancer patients. Their correlation in breast cancer pathological processes is unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate the expression profile of MMP-9 and HPSE in breast cancer and to assess their clinicopathological significance. We measured serum MMP-9 and HPSE by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in healthy women, and in patients with benign and malignant breast disease. We also evaluated the expression of MMP-9 and HPSE protein in paraffin-embedded tumor tissues by immunohistochemistry. We then correlated serum and tissue levels of MMP-9 and HPSE in breast cancer samples and their expression with patients’ clinicopathologic characteristics. We found that serum levels of MMP-9 and HPSE were significantly higher in breast cancer patients than in benign breast disease and in healthy controls (P = 0.001). There was positive correlation between MMP-9 and HPSE in breast cancer patients. The tissue and serum levels of MMP-9 were associated with histology grade, lymph node status, pathological stage, and lymphovascular invasion (all P < 0.05). The tissue levels of MMP-9 were also associated with ER (P = 0.038) and Ki-67 (P = 0.032). The tissue and serum levels of HPSE expression were associated with tumor size, histology grade, lymph node status, and pathological stage (all P < 0.05). Our findings suggested that MMP-9 and HPSE might further be evaluated as biomarkers for predicting progression and prognosis of breast cancer.
MMP-9 Heparanase Breast cancer Serum biomarker Tumor prognosis Metastasis
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The study was supported by the foundation of science and technology research project of Heilongjiang education department.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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