As compared with tumors from other organs such as lung, colon, and breast, a limited number of studies have been carried out so far on the involvement of MMPs and TIMPs in thyroid tumorigenesis. Based upon the available data, it is clear that MMPs, especially MMP-2 and MMP-9, and TIMP-1 are involved in thyroid tumor invasion and metastasis. Although TIMP-1 can reduce the invasive potential of thyroid cancer cells in vitro, therapeutic intervention in vivo has not been attempted yet in animal models to inhibit thyroid tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis, using either synthetic MMP inhibitors or TIMPs gene therapy. Clearly, more studies are needed to fully appreciate the important roles of MMPs and TIMPs in thyroid cancer.
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