Matrix metalloproteinases in cancer: Prognostic markers and therapeutic targets

Authors

  • Pia Vihinen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Oncology and Radiotherapy, Turku University Central Hospital, Turku, Finland
    2. MediCity Research Laboratory, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
    • MediCity Research Laboratory, University of Turku, Tykistökatu 6A, FIN-20520 Turku, Finland
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Fax: +358-2-3337000

  • Veli-Matti Kähäri

    1. Turku Centre for Biotechnology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
    2. Department of Dermatology, Turku University Central Hospital, Turku, Finland
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Degradation of extracellular matrix is crucial for malignant tumour growth, invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of zinc-dependent neutral endopeptidases collectively capable of degrading essentially all matrix components. Elevated levels of distinct MMPs can be detected in tumour tissue or serum of patients with advanced cancer and their role as prognostic indicators in cancer is studied. In addition, therapeutic intervention of tumour growth and invasion based on inhibition of MMP activity is under intensive investigation and several MMP inhibitors are in clinical trials in cancer. In this review, we discuss the current view on the feasibility of MMPs as prognostic markers and as targets for therapeutic intervention in cancer. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Ancillary