Increased extracellular matrix (ECM) formation and matrix metalloprotease (MMP)-mediated ECM degradation are parts of tumorgenesis and generates collagen fragments that are released into circulation. We evaluated the association of specific collagen fragments measured in serum with outcomes in two independent metastatic breast cancer (MBC) cohorts. ELISAs were used to measure C1M (MMP-generated type I collagen fragment), C3M (MMP-generated type III collagen fragment), C4M (MMP-generated type IV collagen fragment), and PRO-C3 (pro-peptide of type III collagen) in pretreatment serum from a phase 3 randomized clinical trial of second-line hormone therapy (HR+, n = 148), and a first-line trastuzumab-treated cohort (HER2+, n = 55). All sites of metastases were included. The collagen fragments were evaluated by Cox-regression analysis for their association with time-to-progression (TTP) and overall survival (OS). In the HR+ cohort, higher C1M and C3M levels (75th percentile cut-off) were associated with shorter TTP; all fragments were associated with shorter OS. In the HER2+ cohort, higher levels of all fragments were associated with shorter TTP; higher PRO-C3 was associated with shorter OS. In multivariate analysis of the HR+ trial for OS, higher levels of all fragments were significant for reduced OS when added separately (C1M HR = 2.1, p < 0.001; C3M HR = 1.8, p = 0.028; C4M HR = 1.8, p = 0.018; PRO-C3 HR = 1.8, p = 0.017); none other clinical covariates were significant. In conclusion, collagen fragments quantified in pretreatment serum was associated with shorter TTP and OS in two independent MBC cohorts receiving systemic therapy. If validated, quantification of ECM remodeling in serum has potential as prognostic and/or predictive biomarkers in MBC.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research