Objective: Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) degrade extracellular matrix and are involved in tumor invasion and metastasis in various cancers. In pancreatic cancer, MMP-2 expression is upregulated and correlates with tumor recurrence. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic significance of MMP-2 in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Methods: MMP-2 expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry in 127 patients operated on at Helsinki University Hospital from 1974 to 1998, with expression interpreted separately in epithelial and stromal samples. Results: Epithelial MMP-2 expression was strong in 5%, moderate in 20%, weak in 25% and negative in 50% of the tumors, with high epithelial MMP-2 expression significantly associated in univariate survival analysis with advanced stage, poor grade and poor survival. Stromal MMP-2 expression was strong in 0%, moderate in 14%, weak in 70% and negative in 16% of the cases, and did not significantly correlate with patient survival. Conclusion: Epithelial MMP-2 correlates with advanced tumor stage and grade, but is not an independent predictor of survival.

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