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Prostate. 2009 Mar 1;69(4):346-51. doi: 10.1002/pros.20890.

Serum active hepatocyte growth factor (AHGF) in benign prostatic disease and prostate cancer.

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Department of Urology, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences for Research, University of Toyama, Japan.



Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is secreted as an inactive single-chain precursor called pro-HGF. Pro-HGF is converted to an active two-chain form by HGF activator and matriptase. We attempted to clarify whether serum levels of active HGF (AHGF) could be used as a marker of prostate cancer.


Serum levels of AHGF and total HGF (THGF; pro-HGF + AHGF) were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 38 patients with benign prostatic disease and 160 patients with prostate cancer.


Serum levels of AHGF in patients with untreated prostate cancer (0.37 +/- 0.12 ng/ml) were significantly higher than those in patients with benign prostatic disease (0.28 +/- 0.08 ng/ml) (P = 0.0001). Serum AHGF levels were increased in patients with stage D or D3 compared with stage B. In addition, there were significant differences in serum AHGF levels between patients with well-differentiated and poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma. Furthermore, the mean serum AHGF/THGF ratio in patients with stage D3 prostate cancer was significantly higher than that in patients with stage B.


AHGF may be a potential tumor marker for prostate cancer. Further studies in large groups of patients are needed to define the clinical value of AHGF.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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