M.Waheed Roomi, Tatiana Kalinovsky, Aleksandra Niedzwiecki* and Matthias Rath
Dr. Rath Research Institute, Santa Clara, CA
International Journal of Oncology 2013; 43: 39-49
Adult sarcomas are highly aggressive tumors that are characterized by high levels of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -9 secretions that degrade the ECM and basement membrane, allowing cancer cells to spread to distal organs. Proteases play a key role in tumor cell invasion and metastasis by digesting the basement membrane and ECM components. Strong clinical and experimental evidence demonstrates association of elevated levels of u-PA and MMPs with cancer progression, metastasis and shortened patient survival. MMP activities are regulated by specific tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs).