Overexpression of matrix metalloproteinase-12 (MMP-12) correlates with poor prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma

Eur J Cancer. 2011 Oct;47(15):2299-305. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2011.05.032. Epub 2011 Jun 15.


Tumour recurrence and metastasis are pressing issues of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients who receive surgical treatments. Matrix metalloproteinase-12 (MMP-12), previously identified from our animal model, is involved in tumour invasiveness of rat hepatoma. We aimed to investigate the significance and prognostic value of MMP-12 expression in human HCC. MMP-12 mRNA level of 139 pairs of tumour and non-tumour liver tissues of HCC patients after hepatectomy were investigated by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. MMP-12 mRNA was significantly elevated in tumour liver tissues of HCC patients compared to non-tumour and normal liver tissues. By comparing paired tumour and non-tumour liver tissues, MMP-12 mRNA was overexpressed in 58% of tumour tissue of HCC patients. Overexpression of MMP-12 mRNA was significantly correlated with presence of venous infiltration (p=0.004), high serum AFP level (p=0.012), early tumour recurrence (p=0.018) and poor overall survival (p=0.02) of HCC patients. Moreover, MMP-12 mRNA was an independent factor in predicting the 1- and 3-year overall survival of HCC patients after hepatectomy. Our data demonstrated that MMP-12 mRNA may be a valuable prognostic marker for both overall survival and tumour recurrence of HCC patients after liver resection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / enzymology*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / surgery
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Hepatectomy* / adverse effects
  • Hepatectomy* / mortality
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Liver Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Liver Neoplasms / genetics
  • Liver Neoplasms / mortality
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 12 / analysis*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 12 / genetics
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Up-Regulation
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • RNA, Messenger
  • MMP12 protein, human
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 12