Aim: To determine whether the serum level of matrix metalloproteinase-7 (MMP7) has the potential to diagnosis cholangiocarcinoma from benign biliary tract diseases.
Methods: This study was performed according to the PRoBE (a prospective-specimen-collection, retrospective-blinded-evaluation) design. A total of 187 patients with obstructive jaundice were consecutively enrolled. After the diagnostic status of these patients was ascertained, their levels of serum MMP7 were assayed and compared with serum carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA19-9). This was conducted in a blinded case (cholangiocarcinoma)-control (benign biliary tract disease) setup.
Results: MMP7 and CA19-9 serum levels were significantly elevated in cholangiocarcinoma patients (P < 0.001). The area under the curve (AUC) from a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis for the diagnosis of cholangiocarcinoma, using MMP7 was more accurate than CA19-9 (AUC = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.778-0.903 for MMP7 and AUC = 0.79, 95% CI: 0.708-0.868 for CA19-9). The sensitivity and specificity of serum MMP7 (cut-off value of 5.5 ng/mL) was 75% and 78%, respectively, while the sensitivity and specificity of serum CA19-9 (cut-off value of 100 U/mL) was 68% and 87%, respectively.
Conclusion: Serum values of MMP7 and CA19-9 appear to be useful biomarkers for differentiating cholangiocarcinoma from benign biliary tract obstructive diseases.