The serum concentration of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) was examined in 34 patients with metastatic breast cancer. Although no significant difference was observed between HGF concentration and the site of metastasis, serum HGF levels were slightly higher in patients with liver metastasis and in patients with multiple metastatic sites than in patients with other lesions. Significantly higher levels of serum HGF were observed in patients with progressive metastasis of breast cancer compared with those with stable metastasis. The patients with high HGF levels exhibited a significantly shorter survival rate than those with low HGF levels. Circulating HGF levels may be a useful indicator for the progression of metastatic lesions and the prognosis of patients with metastatic breast cancer.