Esophagectomy is a common standard treatment of localized disease. However, local recurrence frequently occurs in patients with advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) after operation, resulting in the need for using biomarkers to evaluate recurrence in patients with advanced ESCC during postoperative therapies. This study examined serum matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) as a prognosis factor in recurrent patients with advanced ESCC after curative esophagectomy followed by chemotherapy or concurrent radiotherapy. During therapies, patients with recurrent tendencies always have low serum MMP-9 levels compared with those before treatment. For recurrent patients, a difference in recurrence-free survival rate is significant between MMP-9 ≥ 635 ng/mL and MMP-9 < 635 ng/mL before treatment (P < 0.05). Although serum MMP-9 is a negative prognostic factor for patients with recurrence tendency and cannot directly predict recurrence, low serum MMP-9 levels before treatment and after therapies still indicate high recurrence-free survival rate in patients with locally advanced resectable ESCC after chemotherapy or concurrent radiotherapy.
Key words: Matrix metalloproteinase-9, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, recurrence, chemotherapy, survival.
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