Aim: To assess the potential use of plasma and urine levels of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases 1 (TIMP-1) in urothelial cancer. Methods: TIMP-1 levels were determined in urine and plasma from healthy donors (n=26), patients with bacterial bladder infection (n=24), urothelial bladder adenoma (n=3) or adenocarcinoma (n=7). Results: Free and total TIMP-1 in plasma were weakly but significantly correlated with age; urinary TIMP-1 was not. A strong correlation between free and total TIMP-1 in plasma was observed, with an average ratio of 0.85. No correlation between total TIMP-1 in urine and plasma was found (p=0.55). No significant differences in free or total TIMP-1 in plasma were found between healthy individuals, patients with cystitis or bladder cancer (p=0.4). Urinary TIMP-1 levels were significantly increased in patients with cystitis (p=0.001). No apparent differences in TIMP-1 levels were found in patients with bladder cancer at different stages. Conclusion: Our previous observation of a weak but significant correlation between plasma TIMP-1 and age was confirmed. Likewise, an association between free and total TIMP-1 in plasma with a ratio of 0.85 was established. No correlation between plasma and urine TIMP-1 was found. Measurement of TIMP-1 in plasma and/or urine is apparently not useful for the identification of bladder cancer.
Int J Biol Markers, 2006, Vol 21, Issue 1, p. 6-11