Background: Scatter factor, also known as hepatocyte growth factor (SF/HGF), is a polypeptide growth factor thought to be important in the growth and spread of prostatic carcinoma.
Patients and methods: Scatter factor/HGF levels in pretreatment plasma samples from 171 men with metastatic hormone-refractory prostate cancer enrolled in CALGB 9480 were quantified by solid-phase, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Results: The Cox proportional hazards model was used to assess the prognostic importance of SF/HGF with adjustment for established prognostic factors. Median SF/HGF was 991 pg/mL (range, 212-2733 pg/mL). In a univariate analysis, although plasma SF/HGF levels above versus below the median value did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.0862), the cutoff point of > 935 pg/mL was associated with a significant reduction in overall survival (P = 0.0334). Patients with SF/HGF levels > 935 pg/mL experienced a median survival of 15 months compared with 19 months for men with SF/HGF levels < or = 935 pg/mL. In a multivariate analysis, adjusting for SF/HGF, prostate-specific antigen, lactate dehydrogenase, and performance status, only plasma alkaline phosphatase was significantly associated with overall survival (hazard ratio, 1.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-2.5; P = 0.0017).
Conclusion: Higher plasma levels of SF/HGF in men with hormone-refractory prostate cancer are associated with a decreased patient survival. Currently, SF/HGF levels do not appear to be of value as a contributor to multivariate models for prediction of outcome, but the association with decreased survival suggests that SF/HGF might be a potential target for therapy.