What does matrix metalloproteinase-1 expression in patients with breast cancer really tell us?
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BMC Medicine 2011, 9:95 doi:10.1186/1741-7015-9-95Published: 11 August 2011
Molecular and biochemical expressions of matrix metalloproteinases in breast cancer tissue and cells offers promise in helping us understand the breast cancer microenvironment, and also in the future it is hoped this will improve its detection, treatment and prognosis. In a retrospective study recently published in BMC Cancer, microenvironment predisposing to breast cancer progression, metastatic behavior and the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) and its correlation with well-known biochemical, molecular and clinicopathologic factors in breast cancer cells and cancer-associated stromal cells was examined; this study also analyzed patient survival in different breast cancer subtypes. The positive correlation in breast tumor and stromal cells between MMP-1 expression and several markers of tumor grade and stage provide us with some useful new insights into important questions about the molecular profiling of the stromal microenvironment in metastatic breast cancer. The study showed that MMP-1 expression is strongly associated with poor clinical outcome, so now we look forward to future larger studies in breast cancer patients in which we can relate wider MMP molecular profiling to identify lethal tumor and stromal microenvironments predisposing to breast cancer progression, metastatic behavior and poor prognosis.