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Serum concentrations of hepatocyte growth factor in breast cancer patients

, : Serum concentrations of hepatocyte growth factor in breast cancer patients. Clinical Cancer Research 1(9): 1031-1034

Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) was first identified as a potent stimulator of hepatocyte growth and DNA synthesis. Later, it was shown that HGF can promote cell motility and cell proliferation in various types of cells, including tumor cells and endothelial cells. We have examined serum concentrations of HGF in breast cancer patients using an ELISA. Of 134 primary breast cancer patients, 49 (36.6%) showed a significant increase in the circulating level of HGF as compared to healthy controls. The increase in the HGF level was significantly associated with axillary lymph node metastases and histological evidence of venous invasion. No significant correlation between serum HGF concentrations and intratumoral HGF concentrations was found; however, the removal of the primary tumor clearly decreased the serum HGF level, suggesting that the elevation of HGF in the serum was tumor related. Twenty-nine (82.9%) of 35 patients with recurrent breast cancer had an increase in the serum HGF level. The HGF level was significantly higher in patients with liver metastases compared to those with other sites of metastases. Postoperative sequential examinations confirmed that the increase in the serum HGF level was associated with the appearance of relapse. In conclusion, the serum HGF level was significantly increased in breast cancer patients. Circulating HGF might play important roles in tumor progression in this malignancy.


PMID: 9816076

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