Elevated plasma tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 level predicts decreased response and survival in metastatic breast cancer




Tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinase (TIMPs) have at least 2 different functions. They inhibit the catalytic activity of matrix metalloproteinases, and they act as growth factors.


Pretreatment ethylenediamine tetracetic acid plasma TIMP-1 was assayed from 251 patients who were enrolled in a Phase III, second-line, hormone therapy trial, and from a control group of 50 healthy, postmenopausal women by using the TIMP-1 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.


The plasma TIMP-1 levels from the postmenopausal control group (n = 50 women) were 201 ± 86 ng/mL mean ± standard deviation (range, 49–455 ng/mL). The upper limit of normal was defined as the mean ± 2 standard deviations of the control group (373 ng/mL). Patient pretreatment plasma TIMP-1 levels ranged from 70 ng/mL to 982 ng/mL. Plasma TIMP-1 was elevated above the mean + 2 standard deviations of the control group (373 ng/mL) in 19 patients (7.6%). In univariate analysis, patients who had elevated versus normal plasma TIMP-1 levels had a reduced clinical benefit rate (CBR) (16% vs 42%; P = .03). The time to progression (TTP) (84 days vs 174 days; P < .0001) and overall survival (141 days vs 860 days; P = .0001) also were significantly shorter in patients who had elevated TIMP-1 levels. TTP and overall survival also were significantly shorter in patients who had higher TIMP-1 plasma levels when it was analyzed as a continuous variable. In multivariate analysis, elevated plasma TIMP-1 level remained a prognostic factor for reduced overall survival (P < .0001) along with elevated serum HER-2/neu (P < .0001) and the presence of visceral metastases (P = .008).


Elevated pretreatment plasma levels of TIMP-1 predicted a decreased response to second-line hormone therapy and reduced survival in women with metastatic breast cancer. Cancer 2007. © 2007 American Cancer Society.