Background: To investigate on the expressions and the clinical significances of hepatocyte growth factor receptor (c-MET), phosphorylated c-MET (p-MET) and e2f-1 transcription factor in primary lesion of gastric adenocarcinoma (GC).
Method: Tissue samples from the primary lesion of GC in patients who accepted D2/D3 radical gastrectomy with R0/R1 resection were stained by immunohistochemistry of c-MET, p-MET, e2f-1 and Ki-67. The univariate and the multivariate analyses involving in clinicopathological parameters and prognostic factors were evaluated.
Results: The positivity rates for c-MET (66.12%, 80 cases/121 cases), p-MET (59.50%, 72 cases/121 cases), e2f-1 (38.84%, 47 cases/121 cases) and Ki-67 (72.73%, 88 cases/121 cases) in primary lesion of GC was significantly higher than that in non-cancerous tissue at 5 cm places far from the margin of primary lesion (P < 0.05, respectively). The deeper tumor invasion, the severer lymph node metastasis, the later stage of TNM and the higher expression of Ki-67 was respectively an independent risk factor for the higher expression of c-MET or p-MET, but the younger age and the shorter survival time was an independent risk factor for the higher expression of e2f-1 respectively. Survival analysis showed that the worse prognosis could be observed in the patients with the combination of both c-MET-positive and e2f-1-negative (P = 0.038) or both p-MET-positive and e2f-1-negative (P = 0.042). Cox analysis demonstrated that the severer lymphatic node metastasis and the higher positivity rate of c-MET, p-MET or e2f-1 were an independent prognosis factor respectively. The higher expression of e2f-1 was identified in patients with Stage I-II, which correlated with a shorter survival time. Survival analysis also revealed that the prognosis of patients with positive expression of e2f-1 at Stage I-II was significantly worse than that in patients with negative expression of e2f-1 (χ2 = 13.437, P = 0.001). However, in the cases with Stage III-IV, no significant difference could be identified in the prognostic comparison between positive and negative expressions of e2f-1.
Conclusions: The expression of c-MET or p-MET is an independent prognosis factor. It has been observed that the higher expression of e2f-1 occurred in the early stages while the lower expression of it in the later stages in GC.