Cutaneous melanoma is an aggressive tumor with increasing incidence worldwide. Recent development of promising treatments based on immune checkpoints blockade in cancer immunotherapy or signal transduction inhibitors (B-Raf enzyme inhibitor and MEK inhibitor) requires identification of new biomarkers predictive of either prognosis and/or therapeutic response. Dynamic interaction between melanoma and normal host cells influences tumor progression; proteins regulating connections between melanoma cells and extracellular matrix facilitate tumor invasion and dissemination. We discuss the various functions of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases (TIMPs) in melanoma and their possible role as prognostic and/or predictive biomarkers. We also studied the correlation with regression of expression of several MMPs and TIMPs in melanoma; regressed and nonregressed components are in fact different tumor subclones; in some cases of melanoma with regression (with a specific morphology), the biologic aggressiveness of the tumor and implicitly the overall prognosis may be more favorable than that of melanoma without regression thus offering the possibility of a supplemental stratification of these patients beyond AJCC staging.
Part of the book: The Role of Matrix Metalloproteinase in Human Body Pathologies