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Vol. 28, No. 1, 2007
Issue release date: December 2006

Serum Levels of Hepatocyte Growth Factor/Scatter Factor in Patients with Liver Metastases from Breast Cancer

Eichbaum M.H.R. · de Rossi T.M. · Kaul S. · Bruckner T. · Schneeweiss A. · Sohn C.
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Objective: Recent studies have shown that the pleiotropic cytokine hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF) and its receptor c-Met play major roles in the malignant progression of numerous tumors. For patients with breast cancer liver metastases, increased serum levels of HGF/SF have been reported. We studied the relationship between the clinical course of the disease and the serum levels of HGF/SF in such patients. Methods: We examined 51 patients treated for breast cancer liver metastases. Serum concentrations of HGF/SF were measured before each therapy cycle and compared to the corresponding tumor marker levels. Results: Mean serum levels of HGF/SF in patients with liver metastases were increased above the reported reference levels of primary breast cancer patients. Serum levels of HGF/SF were correlated with tumor marker levels in a logarithmic relation (r = 0.47, p < 0.001). In some cases serum concentrations of HGF/SF changed similarly to the course of the corresponding tumor markers. Conclusions: Serum levels of HGF/SF are associated with the clinical course of metastatic breast cancer patients with liver metastases. Further studies are required to clarify the potential value of the HGF/SF serum concentration as a tumor marker. HGF/SF and its receptor c-Met should be further evaluated as therapeutic targets.

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