Matrix metalloproteinases play a crucial role in tumour invasion and metastasis. Matrilysin (MMP-7) has been shown to correlate with nodal or distant metastasis in colorectal carcinomas; however, its implication in early invasive colorectal carcinomas has not been determined. This study was undertaken to clarify the association of matrilysin expression with clinicopathologic parameters in early invasive colorectal carcinomas. 38 early invasive colorectal carcinomas treated by local excision or radical surgery were examined. Tumour budding was evaluated as the number of dedifferentiation units along the entire invasive margin. Matrilysin protein levels were determined using immunohistochemical study. Univariate analysis showed that matrilysin expression alone was significantly associated with distant metastasis (P = 0.0339), and both tumour budding and matrilysin expression were significantly associated with adverse outcome (P = 0.0005, 0.0341). Histological differentiation, vessel invasion, and depth of invasion were not significantly associated with either distant metastasis or adverse outcome. Multivariate analysis confirmed that tumour budding and matrilysin expression were independently associated with adverse outcome, although the significance of matrilysin expression was marginal (P = 0.0488). Tumour budding at the invasive margin and matrilysin expression are more useful in identifying high-risk groups for adverse outcome in patients with early invasive colorectal carcinomas.
Copyright 2001 Cancer Research Campaign.