High Expression of MMP-9 in Primary Tumors and High Preoperative MPO in Serum Predict Improved Prognosis in Colorectal Cancer with Operable Liver Metastases

Colorectal Cancer
08/10/2020

Oncology. 2020 Oct 7:1-17. doi: 10.1159/000510609. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The liver metastases of colorectal cancer (CRC) can be surgically treated in selected cases, with continuously improving results. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) contribute to cancer invasion by degrading the extracellular matrix, and elevated levels of MMP-2, MMP-8, and MMP-9 have been detected in several malignancies. Myeloperoxidase (MPO) is a mediator of tissue damage that can oxidatively activate latent MMPs. We evaluated the prognostic value of MMP-2, MMP-8, and MMP-9 in tissue samples of primary tumors and liver metastases and the pre- and postoperative serum levels of MMP-8, MMP-9, and MPO in CRC patients undergoing liver resection.

METHODS: Tissue and serum samples were obtained from 111 patients who had primary colorectal tumors and their liver metastases surgically treated at the Helsinki University Hospital between 1988 and 2007. Tissue expression of MMP-2, MMP-8, and MMP-9 in primary tumors and liver metastases was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. Pre- and postoperative serum concentrations of MMP-8, MMP-9, and MPO were determined using a time-resolved immunofluorometric assay or commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits. Clinical data were retrieved from patient records and the Central Statistical Office of Finland. Associations with disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were estimated using Cox regression analysis and the Kaplan-Meier method.

RESULTS: High expression of MMP-9 in colorectal tumor tissue was associated with better DFS (p = 0.010), and high preoperative MPO in serum with improved DFS and OS (p < 0.001 and p = 0.014, respectively). The prognostic significance varied according to gender, age, and the synchronicity of liver metastases.

CONCLUSION: Low preoperative MPO in serum might identify patients at high risk of recurrence and death after resection of colorectal liver metastases. Elevated preoperative MPO and high expression of MMP-9 in colorectal tumor tissue indicate an improved prognosis. The use of these biomarkers should be adjusted according to clinical characteristics.