Research Papers:

Elevated expression of MMP-2 and TIMP-2 cooperatively correlates with risk of lung cancer

Chao Cao, Ning Xu, Xiaoxia Zheng, Wenxue Zhang, Tianwen Lai, Zhaichun Deng and Xiaoping Huang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:80560-80567. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.20156

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Chao Cao1, Ning Xu1, Xiaoxia Zheng1, Wenxue Zhang1, Tianwen Lai2, Zaichun Deng3 and Xiaoping Huang1

1Department of Respiratory Medicine, Ningbo First Hospital, Ningbo, China

2Department of Respiratory, Institute of Respiratory Diseases, The Affiliated Hospital of Guangdong Medical University, Zhanjiang, China

3Department of Respiratory Medicine, Affiliated Hospital, Ningbo University School of Medicine, Ningbo, China

Correspondence to:

Xiaoping Huang, email: [email protected]

Zaichun Deng, email: [email protected]

Tianwen Lai, email: [email protected]

Keywords: MMP-2, TIMP-2, lung cancer, diagnosis, biomarker

Received: March 24, 2017     Accepted: July 30, 2017     Published: August 11, 2017


Lung cancer is one of the most common form of malignant diseases and the leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. It is reported that approximately two-thirds of lung cancer patients is the presence of advance disease at the time of diagnosis. Hence novel lung cancer diagnostic tests, which can be used to screen individuals at high risk, are required. In the derivation cohort, a total of 88 patients admitted into hospital with suspected lung cancer were included. Bronchial alveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and lung tissue samples were collected from included patients, and were analyzed for MMP-2 and TIMP-2 expression. The results showed a higher level of MMP-2 and TIMP-2 expression and secretion in airways of lung cancer patients than that of benign diseases. A statistically significant correlation was observed between MMP-2 and TIMP-2. In addition, a validation cohort involving 107 patients was conducted to confirm these results. Interesting, BALF MMP-2 and TIMP-2 showed a high sensitivity and specificity in predicting the malignant nature of pulmonary disease in both derivation cohort and validation cohort. The findings in this study suggested that elevated expression of MMP-2 and TIMP-2 cooperatively correlates with risk of lung cancer. Measurement of MMP-2 and TIMP-2 in BALF might be helpful for differential diagnosis of primary lung cancer.

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