BACKGROUND: Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in women in the U.S. and Europe. In the early stages of the disease, women are treated surgically, which is supplemented with hormonal therapy, immuno-, chemo- or radiotherapy. Postoperative qualification for further treatment is based on clinical stage, the pathology of the tumor and classic prognostic factors. Despite that, among patients with breast cancer in early stages of clinical advancement, there is a relatively large proportion of observed tumor recurrence. These observations oblige the search for additional prognostic factors that determine the progression of the disease faster, according to which, could emerge a group of women at increased risk of recurrence of the disease.
AIM: The aim of this paper is to determine the meaning of the expression of selected metalloproteinases as prognostic factors in breast cancer.
METHODS: The study group consisted of 108 patients ages 26 to 86 years treated surgically from 1994 to 2000 because of primary breast cancer in the early clinical stage, ie stage I and II according to TNM classification.
RESULTS: Between two of the tested metalloproteinases (MMP-2 and MMP-11) only MMP-2 appears to have prognostic significance in early forms of breast cancer, and its strong expression is associated with shorter survival.