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Anticancer Res. 2009 Nov;29(11):4807-11.

MET Is highly expressed in advanced stages of colorectal cancer and indicates worse prognosis and mortality.

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Departments of Surgery and Pathology of Barretos Cancer Hospital, Pio XII Foundantion, Barretos, São Paulo, Brazil.


The aim of the present study was to evaluate by immunohistochemistry the prognostic meaning of the tumor marker MET (hepatocyte growth factor) in patients submitted to surgical resection due to primary colorectal adenocarcinoma.


A retrospective study was carried out that included 286 consecutive patients with colorectal adenocarcinoma, submitted to surgical resection at Barretos Cancer Hospital, from 1993 to 2002. The histopathological expression of the MET tumor marker was evaluated using an anti-protein monoclonal antibody against MET by the streptavidin-biotin-peroxidase technique. The expression of the tumor marker was semi-quantitative, and the slide samples were independently analyzed by three pathologists unaware of patient clinical and histopathological data.


The tumor marker expression was positive in 236 (79%) out of a total of 286 patients. This expression was statistically significantly different between stages I and IV (p=0.004), for overall survival (p=0.009), and for cancer-related mortality rates (p=0.022). However, no association between the tumor marker and recurrence (p=0.89) or disease-free interval (p=0.91) was observed.


MET has shown significant expression at advanced stages of the disease, as well as for overall survival and cancer-related mortality rates demonstrating to be a valuable marker for poor prognosis in colorectal cancer patients.

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