Matrix metalloproteinase-1 is associated with poor prognosis in colorectal cancer

Nat Med. 1996 Apr;2(4):461-2. doi: 10.1038/nm0496–461.


Colorectal cancer is one of the commonest malignant tumors and has a relatively poor prognosis. The outcome depends on the extent of local and particularly metastatic tumor spread. The matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of closely related enzymes that degrade the extracellular matrix and are considered to be important in facilitating tumor invasion and spread (1-3). Using immunohistochemistry we have investigated the occurrence in colorectal cancer of MMP-1 (interstitial collagenase). Our monoclonal antibody was prepared against a synthetic peptide corresponding to an amino acid sequence specific for MMP-1 and was selected to react in formalin-fixed wax-embedded sections, thus allowing use in diagnostic histopathology and also enabling access to archival material. We found that the presence of MMP-1 in colorectal cancer is associated with a poor prognosis (P = 0.006) and has prognostic value independent of Dukes stage. One MMP inhibitor that strongly inhibits MMP-1 has already been shown to inhibit growth of human colon cancer xenografts in nude mice (4). Our results suggest that treatment of those individuals whose colon tumors produce MMP-1 with MMP inhibitors is a therapeutic strategy worth pursuing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Collagenases / analysis*
  • Collagenases / immunology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1
  • Mice
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Analysis


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Collagenases
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1