This study aimed to identify noninvasive protein markers capable of detecting the presence and prognosis of esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma (ESCC). Analyzing microarray expression data collected from 17-pair ESCC specimens, we identified one protein, matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP1), as a possibly useful marker. Plasma MMP1 was then measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in 210 ESCC patients and 197 healthy controls. ESCC patients had higher mean levels of MMP1 than controls (8.7 ± 7.5 vs. 6.7 ± 4.9 ng/mL, p < 0.0001). Using the highest quartile level (9.67 ng/mL) as cut-off, we found a 9.0-fold risk of ESCC in those with higher plasma MMP1 after adjusting for covariates (95% confidence interval = 2.2, 36.0). Heavy smokers and heavy drinkers with higher plasma MMP1 had 61.4-and 31.0 times the risk, respectively, than non-users with lower MMP1. In the survival analysis, compared to those with MMP1 ≤ 9.67 ng/mL, ESCC patients with MMP1 > 9.67 ng/mL had a 48% increase in the risk of ESCC death (adjusted hazard ratio = 1.48; 95% CI = 1.04-2.10). In conclusion, plasma MMP1 may serve as a noninvasive marker of detecting the presence and predicting the survival of ESCC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas