TIMP-2 is an endogenous inhibitor of MMPs. Most data from model systems suggest that high levels of this inhibitor prevent metastasis. In human breast cancers, however, we show that high levels of TIMP-2 correlate with both shortened disease-free interval and overall survival. In primary breast cancers, TIMP-2 levels showed no significant relationship with either tumor size or axillary node status but correlated inversely with estrogen receptor levels. TIMP-2 levels also correlated significantly with those for TIMP-1. We conclude that high levels of endogenous TIMP-2, like other protease inhibitors such as PAI-1 and TIMP-1, correlate with progression of human breast cancer.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.