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PLoS One. 2017 Jul 25;12(7):e0181527. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0181527. eCollection 2017.

The impact of MET, IGF-1, IGF1R expression and EGFR mutations on survival of patients with non-small-cell lung cancer.

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Institute of Medical Biology, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromso, Norway.
Department of Clinical Pathology, University Hospital of Northern Norway, Tromso, Norway.
Institute of Clinical Medicine, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromso, Norway.
Department of Oncology, University Hospital of Northern Norway, Tromso, Norway.



To compare the efficacy of silver in situ hybridization (SISH) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) in detecting MET and IGF1R alterations and to investigate their prevalence and prognostic significance. A possible correlation between MET receptor expression, MET gene alterations and the two most frequent occurring EGFR gene mutations was also investigated.


Stage I to IIIA tumors from 326 patients with NSCLC were immunohistochemically tested for protein expression of MET and IGF-1. Their cytoplasmic expression was compared with the gene copy number of the MET and IGF1Rgenes by SISH in paraffin-embedded, formalin-fixed material. Correlations were made with the immunohistochemical expression of two frequent EGFR mutations and clinicopathological variables. Univariate and multivariate survival analyses was used to evaluate the prognostic efficacy of the tested markers.


In univariate analyses, high cytoplasmic MET expression showed a significant negative prognostic effect in adenocarcinoma patients (p = 0.026). MET gene to chromosome 7 ratio was a significant positive prognostic marker (p = 0.005), probably only due to the highly negative prognostic significance of chromosome 7 polysomy (p = 0.002). High IGF1R gene copy number was a negative prognostic marker for all NSCLC patients (p = 0.037). In the multivariate analysis, polysomy of chromosome 7 in tumor cells correlated significantly and independently with a poor prognosis (p = 0.011). In patients with adenocarcinoma, a high cytoplasmic MET expression was an independent negative prognostic marker (p = 0.013). In males a high IGF1R gene copy number to chromosome 15 count ratio was significantly and independently correlated to a poor prognosis (p = 0.018).


MET protein expression provides superior prognostic information compared with SISH. Polysomy of chromosome 7 is an independent negative prognostic factor in NSCLC patients. This finding has an important implication while examining genes located on chromosome 7 by means of SISH. High IGF1R gene copy number to chromosome 15 count ratio is an independent predictor of inferior survival in male patients with primary NSCLC.

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