Purpose: Scatter factor (SF), also known as hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), has been shown to induce proliferation, scattering and invasiveness in human prostate cancer cell lines. In this study we determined the serum level of SF-HGF in men with metastatic prostate cancer compared to those with localized prostate cancer and without prostate cancer.
Materials and methods: Serum samples were obtained from men with biopsy proved adenocarcinoma of the prostate and radiographic evidence of metastatic disease, those with biopsy proved adenocarcinoma of the prostate and clinically localized disease, and those with negative sextant prostate biopsies. Serum SF-HGF was determined using a commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit.
Results: Of the 108 men enrolled in our study 52 had negative sextant biopsies, 36 had clinically localized cancer and 20 had metastatic disease. The serum level in men with metastatic disease was significantly elevated (mean 2,117 pg./ml., range 820 to 6,403) compared to that in men with localized cancer and without prostate cancer (mean 974 pg./ml., range 437 to 2,132 and 700, range 272 to 1,875, respectively, p = 9.5 x 10(-15)). Logistic regression analysis demonstrated that the association of ln (SF-HGF) with prostate cancer persisted after controlling for patient age and ln (prostate specific antigen) (p = 3.1 x 10(-4)).
Conclusions: Serum SF-HGF is increased in men with metastatic prostate cancer. SF-HGF levels are associated with metastatic prostate cancer independent of the prostate specific antigen level and patient age. These data imply that SF-HGF may be an important serum marker for prostate cancer.