Health Sciences

The Use of MMPs in Cancer Research

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are enzymes that are highly expressed in tumours and are thought to have an important role in the advancement of cancer. Of particular interest is their contribution to metastasis – the spread of cancer around the body. As a result, they are currently being researched with the endeavour to develop new anticancer agents, with inhibitors of MMPs considered to be a viable option for future use in chemotherapy. Furthermore, these enzymes could be used to improve the way in which the body metabolises anti-cancer drugs, a method in which the drugs are only activated in the presence of MMPs in the tumour, and so reducing the potential for harmful side effects.