[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A panel of tumour markers including carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), carbohydrate antigen (Ca)15-3, Ca125 and Ca19-9 were measured in the lysate of sediments and in the supernatants of pleural effusions of patients with benign and malignant disease. The tumour markers were also measured in the serum of the same patients. Of these patients, 32 had benign diseases (12 trasudative effusions associated with cirrhosis and 20 with non-malignant exudates: 12 pleuritis and 8 other inflammations) and 103 had malignant effusions (37 breast cancers, 29 lung cancers, 10 ovary cancers, 6 kidney cancers, 11 mesotheliomas and 10 lymphomas). We showed the highest level of CEA in pleural effusions of lung cancer followed by that in pleural effusions of breast cancer; whereas Ca15-3 was very high in the pleural effusions of breast and lung cancer. Concerning the lysate of sediment, CEA was high in the pleural effusions of patients with lung cancer and Ca15-3 in those of patients with breast cancer. The other markers are much less useful. For the remaining tumours, none of the markers tested appear to aid in the diagnosis of disease. In conclusion, our data suggest that the combined determination of tumour markers on supernatants and sediments of pleural effusion may provide additional information on the nature of pleural effusion, especially for cases with negative cytology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are proteolytic enzymes that are implicated in multiple stages of cancer progression including invasion and metastasis. MMPs exert these effects by cleaving a diverse group of substrates, which include not only structural components of the extracellular matrix, but also growth factor receptors. By gelatin zymography we verified MMP activity in the pleural effusions of patients with benign and malignant disease. Of these patients, 32 had malignant pleural effusion, consisting of 20 breast cancer, 6 non-small cell lung carcinoma, 4 ovarian carcinoma, and 2 colonic adenocarcinoma, and 10 had benign pleural effusion (5 pleurisy and 5 cirrhosis). Zymography showed the constant presence of a substantial amount of MMP-2 in all samples analyzed, whereas MMP-9 was present to lesser quantities. MMP-2 activity was enhanced in pleural effusions from patients with benign diseases compared with cancer patients. MMP-9 was present in 59% of cancer patients and the lytic activity was enhanced in pleurisy and absent in cirrhosis. Furthermore, we determined the pleural effusion levels of the soluble extracellular domain of HER-2/neu. The levels of HER-2/neu ECD were above the cut-off value in breast cancer patients. No correlation between gelatinolytic activities and high HER-2/neu ECD values was found.