Amplification of the c-met gene, that encodes hepatocyte growth factor receptor, was examined on human esophageal, gastric and colorectal carcinomas. Six (55%) of the 11 gastric carcinoma cell lines and 15 (23%) of the 64 advanced gastric carcinomas showed the c-met gene amplification. Among them, c-met amplification was detected in 5 gastric cancer cell lines, derived from scirrhous gastric carcinoma and in 5 (38%) of 13 scirrhous gastric carcinoma tissues. Furthermore, patients of gastric carcinoma with c-met amplification showed significantly advanced tumor stage and poorer prognosis than those without the amplification. Conversely, no amplification was detected in any of the esophageal and colorectal carcinoma cell lines as well as carcinoma tissues except one colonic carcinoma. These results overall suggest that amplification of the c-met gene might participate in carcinogenesis and progression of stomach cancer, especially scirrhous type stomach carcinoma.