Background: The latest experimental studies on human cancer diseases have observed the bioactive role of hyaluronic acid (HA) during carcinogenesis. HA is a component of the extra-cellular matrix (ECM). It is closely correlated with tumor cell growth, proliferation, and metastasis. The present study aimed to evaluate the biochemical role of HA and its degrading enzymes and products in breast cancer (BC) patients under therapy treatment.
Methods: An ELISA method was used to determine HA levels and standard spectrophotometric techniques were used to estimate the activities of HA degrading enzymes hyaluronidase (HAS), N-acetyl-β-D-glucosminidase (NAG), and β-glucuronidase (β-Glu) and the concentration of both glucoseamine (G-Amine) and glucuronic acid (GA) as degrading products in blood sera of 50 BC patients before and after chemotherapy treatment and in blood sera of 40 healthy women as controls. Statistical analyses were performed by a statistical package for social sciences (SPSS, version 15.0).
Results: Elevated serum HA levels, increased HAS, NAG, and β-Glu activities and high concentrations of GAmine and GA were significantly found (p < 0.001) in patients before treatment compared to controls. After all BC patients had received the first chemotherapy course, HA and its previous degrading parameters were significantly decreased (p < 0.001) in post-treated patients compared to pre-treated patients.
Conclusions: Hyaluronic acid and its degrading enzymes and products can be considered a biomarker for early detection of recurrent disease and also for monitoring the effective therapeutic follow up of BC patients.