Background: The c-met and the c-erb B-2 protooncogenes belong to a family of tyrosine kinase growth factor receptors. Abnormalities of these oncogenes and protein products have been reported in several cancers. The authors investigated the correlation between clinical factors and amplification or overexpression of the c-met and/or c-erb B-2 gene in Japanese patients with gastric carcinoma patients, with a focus on prognostic significance.
Methods: Amplification and overexpression of c-met and c-erb B-2 were investigated retrospectively in 128 gastric carcinoma patients by using immunohistochemistry and Southern blot hybridization. Survival analysis was performed with the Kaplan-Meier test, and the log rank test was used for statistical analysis.
Results: Overexpression of c-met and c-erb B-2 was observed in 46.1% and 16.4% of gastric carcinoma cases, respectively. Gene amplification of c-met and c-erb B-2 was detected in 10.2% and 11.7% of gastric carcinoma cases, respectively. Amplification and overexpression of c-met were correlated significantly with depth of tumor invasion and lymph node metastasis, whereas amplification and overexpression of c-erb B-2 were correlated significantly with histologic type. The survival rate of patients with amplification and/or overexpression of c-met or c-erb B-2 was significantly poorer than that of patients with no amplification or overexpression. Multivariate analysis revealed that c-met overexpression and lymph node metastasis were independent prognostic factors.
Conclusions: These data suggest that overexpression and/or gene amplification of c-met and c-erb B-2 may be prognostic factors in gastric carcinoma.