Table of Contents
ISRN Urology
Volume 2012, Article ID 581539, 9 pages
Review Article

Matrix Metalloproteinases and Bladder Cancer: What is New?

1Department of Urology, Universitat Autonòma de Barcelona, Barcelona, 08025 Fundació Puigvert, Spain
2Department of Urology, Universidad de Oviedo, 33003 Oviedo, Spain
3Department of Pathology, Universitat Autonòma de Barcelona, Barcelona, 08025 Fundació Puigvert, Spain
4Unidad de Investigacion, Hospital de Jove, 33290 Gijón, Spain

Received 15 May 2012; Accepted 3 June 2012

Academic Editors: J. I. Izawa and J. H. Ku

Copyright © 2012 O. Rodriguez Faba et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Urothelial bladder cancer represents a heterogeneous disease with divergent pathways of tumorigenesis. Tumor invasion and progression are a multifactorial process promoted by microenvironmental changes that include overexpression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Recent data clearly challenge the classic dogma that MMPs promote metastasis only by modulating the remodeling of extracellular matrix. Indeed, MMPs have also been attributed as an impact on tumor cell behavior in vivo as a consequence of their ability to cleave growth factors, cell surface receptors, cell adhesion molecules, and chemokines/cytokines. Levels of the different MMPs can be measured in several sample types, including tissue, blood (serum and plasma), and urine, and using different methodologies, such as immunohistochemistry, real-time PCR, western and northern blot analyses, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and zymography. Several MMPs have been identified as having potential diagnostic or prognostic utility, whether alone or in combination with cytology. Although MMP inhibitors have shown limited efficacy, advances in the understanding of the complex physiologic and pathologic roles of MMPs might permit the development of new MMP-specific and tumor-specific therapies. In this paper we update the understanding of MMPs based on a systematic PubMed search encompassing papers published up to December 2011.