Background: Functional polymorphisms in matrix metalloproteinases can increase or decrease the risk of cancer. This study focused on ovarian cancer and investigated how polymorphisms in the coding region of MMP-14 and the promoter region of MMP-2 are related to clinical characteristics including survival.
Methods: In 144 patients with ovarian tumours from a Caucasian population, polymorphisms of MMP-14 (+7096 and +6767) and MMP-2 (-735 and -1306) were analysed. These results were then correlated to the immunohistochemical expression of MMP-14 and MMP-2 and clinical characteristics.
Results: In these patients, the MMP-14 +7096 polymorphism showed only TT genotype, in sharp contrast to the described MAF (minimal allele frequency) C of 27%. The MMP-14 +6767 G>A polymorphism was found to have a hazard ratio of 2.09 (CI 1.00-4.35, p 0.046) for recurrence-free survival in advanced-stage patients. However, this significance disappeared after Bonferroni correction for multiple testing. No other correlations between MMP-14 and MMP-2 polymorphisms, immunohistochemistry and clinical characteristics were found, except between the MMP-2 -1306 polymorphism and differentiation grade, with a Spearman correlation coefficient of -0.19, p 0.064.
Conclusions: In ovarian cancer, the MMP-14 +6767 G>A polymorphism in the coding region seems to improve recurrence-free survival with a hazard ratio of 2.09 (CI 1.00-4.35, p 0.046). However, as this significance disappeared after correction for multiple testing, there is a need for further research on the functional effect of this change in the MMP-14 gene with larger patient sample sizes.
Keywords: MMP-14; MMP-2; ovarian cancer; polymorphisms.