Comparative studies of TIMP-1 immunohistochemistry, TIMP-1 FISH analysis and plasma TIMP-1 in glioblastoma patients

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Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1 (TIMP-1) has been associated with poor prognosis and resistance towards chemotherapy in several cancer forms. In a previous study we found an association between a low TIMP-1 tumor immunoreactivity and increased survival for glioblastoma patients, when compared to moderate and high TIMP-1 tumor immunoreactivity. The aim of the present study was to further evaluate TIMP-1 as a biomarker in gliomas by studying TIMP-1 gene copy numbers by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) on 33 glioblastoma biopsies and by measuring levels of TIMP-1 in plasma obtained pre-operatively from 43 patients (31 gliomas including 21 glioblastomas) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The results showed TIMP-1 gene copy numbers per cell ranging from 1 to 5 and the TIMP-1/CEN-X ratio ranging between 0.7 and 1.09, suggesting neither amplification nor loss of the TIMP-1 gene. The TIMP-1 protein levels measured in plasma were not significantly higher than TIMP-1 levels measured in healthy subjects. No correlation was identified between TIMP-1 tumor cell immunoreactivities and the TIMP-1 gene copy numbers or the plasma TIMP-1 levels. In conclusion, high immunohistochemical TIMP-1 protein levels in glioblastomas were not caused by TIMP-1 gene amplification and TIMP-1 in plasma was low and not directly related to tumor TIMP-1 immunoreactivity. The study suggests that TIMP-1 immunohistochemistry is the method of choice for future clinical studies evaluating TIMP-1 as a biomarker in glioblastomas.




Aaberg-Jessen, C., Halle, B., Jensen, S. S., Müller, S., Rømer, U. M., Pedersen, C. B., … Kristensen, B. W. (2016). Comparative studies of TIMP-1 immunohistochemistry, TIMP-1 FISH analysis and plasma TIMP-1 in glioblastoma patients. Journal of Neuro-Oncology, 130(3), 439–448.

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