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Cancer Res. 1990 Dec 15;50(24):7811-4.

Heterogeneous protooncogene amplification correlates with tumor progression and presence of metastases in gastric cancer patients.

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  • 1Department of Genetics and Microbiology, University of Pavia, Italy.


In order to evaluate the relevance of protooncogene alterations in gastric cancer and to specifically relate these alterations to types and stages of the neoplasia, we studied oncogenes of possible interest in gastric tumors with different clinical parameters. Fifty DNAs from primary gastric adenocarcinoma were analyzed, by the Southern blotting technique, for the presence of amplification or rearrangements of seven different protooncogenes: c-myc, c-erbB2, c-Ki-ras, c-Ha-ras, c-N-ras, hst, and c-mos. All the tumors analyzed were histologically classified and staged. Amplification of the following genes was found: c-myc (2 of 50), hst (3 of 50), c-erbB2 (3 of 50), and c-Ki-ras (5 of 50). The simultaneous amplification of hst (3 cases), c-myc (1 of 3), or c-Ki-ras (2 of 3) was observed. Analysis of DNAs from atrophic and metaplastic gastric mucosa (which can be regarded as preneoplastic lesions) of the 10 patients showing gene amplification demonstrated that this was limited to neoplastic cells. Considering protooncogene amplification in general (i.e., involving different genes and occurring to different degrees) and clinical parameters of tumors, we found a statistically significant association between amplification and both tumor progression and presence of metastases. Therefore, at least for the genes analyzed, amplification is a relatively infrequent phenomenon and represents a late event in the temporal development of gastric cancer.

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