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The matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play an important role in several steps of cancer development by regulating cancer-cell growth, differentiation, apoptosis, invasion, metastasis, angiogenesis and immune surveillance.1 Several polymorphisms in the promoters of a number of MMP genes, which are thought to affect the respective MMP production in an allele-specific manner, have been well characterised.2–4 There is increasing evidence indicating that these functional polymorphisms may contribute to interindividual differences in susceptibility to a wide spectrum of cancers.2–7 The role of the MMPs polymorphisms in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), however, has never been specifically investigated. As MMPs are plausible HCC candidate genes, we sought to examine whether the MMP polymorphisms have any bearing on the risk of HCC. Among the candidate polymorphisms, we focused on seven in the promoters of six MMP genes. These polymorphisms were MMP-1 -1607 1G/2G (rs1799750), MMP-2 C-1306T (rs243865) and C-735T (rs2285053), MMP-3 -1612 5A/6A (rs3025058), MMP-9 C-1562T (rs3918242), MMP-12 G-82A (rs2276109), and MMP-13 G-77A (rs17860523), respectively.2–7
We genotyped these seven polymorphisms in 434 incident patients with HCC and 480 controls …
Competing interests: None.