Tumors are infiltrated by macrophages, T and B-lymphocytes, which may favor tumor development by promoting angiogenesis, growth and invasion. The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical relevance of the relative amount of macrophages (CD68⁺), T-cells (CD3⁺ and B-cells (CD20⁺) at the invasive front of breast carcinomas, and the expression of matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) and their inhibitors (TIMPs) either at the invasive front or at the tumor center. We performed an immunohistochemical study counting CD3, CD20 and CD68 positive cells at the invasive front, in 102 breast carcinomas. Also, tissue sections were stained with MMP-2, -9, -11, -14 and TIMP-2 antibodies, and immunoreactivity location, percentage of reactive area and intensity were determined at the invasive front and at the tumor center. The results showed that an increased CD68 count and CD68/(CD3+CD20) ratio were directly associated with both MMP-11 and TIMP-2 expression by mononuclear inflammatory cells at the tumor center (p = 0.041 and p = 0.025 for CD68 count and p = 0.001 and p = 0.045 for ratio, respectively for MMP-11 and TIMP-2). In addition, a high CD68/(CD3+CD20) ratio (>0.05) was directly associated with a higher probability of shortened relapse-free survival. Multivariate analysis revealed that CD68/(CD3+CD20) ratio was an independent factor associated with distant relapse-free survival (RR: 2.54, CI: (1.23-5.24), p<0.01). Therefore, CD68/(CD3+CD20) ratio at the invasive front could be used as an important prognostic marker.