MMP-7, MMP-8, and MMP-9 in oral and cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas

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Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) are epithelial neoplasms, of which OSCC has a worse prognosis. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are involved in the initiation, invasion, metastasis, and defense of cancer. This study aimed to compare differences in MMP expression in these cancers.

Study Design.

Sixty-one patients with early-stage (T1-T2 N0 M0) cancers, of which 36 were OSCC and 25 CSCC, were enrolled into this study. Immunohistochemical staining was performed with MMP-7, MMP-8, and MMP-9 antibodies.


MMP-7 expression was stronger in OSCC than in CSCC, mainly in the invasive front. MMP-8 was absent and MMP-9 was mildly expressed in OSCC and CSCC cells. However, MMP-8 and MMP-9 were positive in peritumoral inflammatory cells in both cancers. In addition, MMP-7, MMP-8, and MMP-9 were not associated with the overall survival of patients with OSCC and CSCC patients.


The increased expression of MMP-7 in the invasive front may partly explain the aggressiveness of OSCC.

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