Objective: To assess the predictive value of pre-chemotherapy matrix metalloproteinase 7 (MMP-7), soluble Fas (sFas) and Fas ligand (FasL) serum levels, as well as their changes during therapy. Patients and Methods: Serum levels of MMP-7, Fas and FasL were determined by ELISA in 96 patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC): 21 docetaxel-resistant patients who received one single series and 75 docetaxel-sensitive patients who received repeated series of docetaxel. In addition to the 96 pretreatment serum samples, 987 sera collected during chemotherapy were also analysed. Results: Higher pretreatment serum MMP-7, sFas and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels were significantly associated with both docetaxel resistance (P = 0.007, P = 0.001, P < 0.001, respectively) and shorter cancer-specific survival (P < 0.001, P = 0.041, P < 0.001, respectively). High MMP-7 level remained an independent predictor of both docetaxel resistance (hazard ratio [HR] 2.298, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.354–3.899; P = 0.002) and poor cancer-specific survival (HR 2.11, 95% CI: 1.36–3.30; P = 0.001) in multivariable analyses. Greater increase in MMP-7 levels in the second treatment holiday and greater increase in PSA levels in the first and second treatment holidays were predictive of survival. Conclusions: Pretreatment serum MMP-7 levels may help to select patients with CRPC who are likely to benefit from docetaxel chemotherapy. Furthermore, MMP-7 levels alone or in combination with PSA levels could be used for therapy monitoring. Correlative studies embedded in clinical trials are necessary to validate these biomarkers for clinical decision-making.
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