Extensive tissue remodeling mediated by matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) is an important part of cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate whether serum biomarkers reflecting MMP-mediated degradation of type I collagen (C1M), type IV collagen (C4M) and citrullinated vimentin (VICM) were predictive of cancer-specific mortality. Between 1999 and 2001, 5855 Danish postmenopausal women participated in The Prospective Epidemiologic Risk Factor (PERF I) study. Demographics and serum samples were collected at enrolment. Cancer diagnosis, and cause and time of death were obtained from Danish registries. C1M, C4M and VICM were measured by ELISA. Hazard ratios (HR) and Kaplan-Meier curves were applied to assess mortality at 3 and 12 years of follow-up for women diagnosed with cancer within 3 years from blood sampling. Within 3 years from blood sampling, 250 women had been diagnosed with cancer. C1M and VICM were associated with survival over time at 3 years of follow-up. Only C1M was predictive of mortality at 3 years follow-up: the adjusted HR was 2.65 [95% CI: 1.08-6.51]. In conclusion, C1M and VICM are associated with survival in postmenopausal women with cancer, and C1M is an independent risk factor for cancer-specific mortality. Thus, quantification of tissue remodeling is important in cancer.
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