Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a rare, aggressive, and highly lethal cancer that is primary induced by exposure to asbestos fibers. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a family of zinc-dependent endopeptidases that are involved in metastasis, and their overexpression correlates with tumor cell invasion and metastasis because they degrade the extracellular matrix (ECM) and process adhesion and cytoskeletal proteins, growth factors, chemokines, and cytokines. Recent evidence has shown that MMPs participate in MM progression, indicating that they are potential novel biomarkers and attractive targets for cancer therapy. In this chapter, we will describe MMPs in carcinogenic mechanisms based on in vivo and in vitro experimental evidence, outline the clinical findings, and speculate the possible roles of MMPs in MM.
Part of the book: Asbestos-related Diseases