Affiliation: Center for the Health Sciences, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1740.
In the United States, about 22,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011, and an estimated 14,000 patients will succumb to the disease . Surgery and chemotherapy present the main treatment modalities, but despite the development of novel therapies, the overall 5 years survival for ovarian cancer patients with advanced disease at diagnosis remains at only about 30%. Novel therapeutic strategies are needed to prolong survival and achieve greater cure rates.
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are frequently expressed in ovarian cancer, and play an important role in the metastatic process. MMPs mediate degradation of the basement membrane as a crucial step in epithelial transformation, ovarian tumorigenesis and intraperitoneal metastasis . Various preclinical and clinical studies have demonstrated that MMPs might provide a suitable therapeutic target. This review summarizes important observations regarding the expression of MMPs in ovarian cancer, their biological role, and data from clinical trials targeting MMPs in ovarian cancer patients.