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Indian J Pathol Microbiol. 2011 Jul-Sep;54(3):509-13. doi: 10.4103/0377-4929.85083.

Hepatocyte growth factor profile with breast cancer.

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Department of Chemical Pathology and Pathology, Medical Research Institute, Alexandria University, Egypt.



The multifunctional hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is the ligand of c-Met receptor; it plays important role in mammary differentiation. HGF-Met signaling is a critical downstream function of c-Src-Stat3 pathway in mammalian tumorigenesis.


Evaluation of tissue c-Met receptor hepatocyte growth factor receptor (HGFR) and serum level of HGF in female breast ductal carcinoma.


Sixty-eight premenopausal females were divided as 30 control females subdivided into: [Group 1] 15 healthy volunteer females and [Group 2] five with fibrocystic disease and 10 having fibroadenoma of the breast and patients group [Group 3] consisted of 38 female patients with breast ductal carcinoma. Thorough clinical examination, preoperative fine needle aspiration cytology, estimation of fasting serum glucose, urea, creatinine, and uric acid levels, alanine aminotransferase activities, C-reactive protein, HGF level, before surgery and histopathological examination of the breast masses, and immunohistochemical detection of HGFR were done.


Significant increase in serum HGF levels were found in patients with breast cancer as compared with controls. Significant increase was also seen in patients with breast cancer with and without lymph node metastasis when each subgroup was compared with controls. Serum level of HGF is an independent prognostic indicator of breast cancer. Fibrocystic disease of the breast showed weak HGFR expression, while in normal tissue, HGFR was scanty; meanwhile, breast invasive ductal carcinoma showed homogenous strong reaction to HGFR. HGF is only one of a number of key factors involved in breast cancer and preoperative high serum HGF levels and malignancy occur usually together.

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