[en] Metalloproteinases and serine proteinases have been associated with tumor invasion and formation of metastasis which represent the major obstacles to cancer cure. The contribution of proteinases in these processes was initially thought to be the destruction of extracellular matrices. However, recent evidence suggests that they mainly affect tumor growth rather than invasion. Proteinases can indeed generate active matrix protein fragments, influence the release, the activation and the bioavailability of growth factors, and consequently modulate tumor cell growth, apoptosis and angiogenesis. Additionally, proteinases, their receptors and/or inhibitors can be directly involved in cell migration and in the processing or shedding of cell surface proteins. Further elucidation of the functions of proteinases is essential for the development of novel anticancer strategies.