c-met expression level in primary colon cancer: A predictor of tumor invasion and lymph node metastases

Hiroya Takeuchi, Anton Bilchik, Sukamal Saha, Roderick Turner, David Wiese, Maki Tanaka, Christine Kuo, He Jing Wang, Dave S.B. Hoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

218 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Both c-MET and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-C expression are important factors in primary carcinoma progression. We hypothesized that overexpression of c-MET and/or VEGF-C mRNA in primary colorectal cancer (CRC) can predict tumor invasion and regional metastasis. Experimental Design: The level of c-MET and VEGF-C mRNA expression was assessed using a quantitative RT- RealTime PCR assay on early stage primary CRC tumors (n = 36). Results: The c-MET mRNA copy number ranged from 1.18 × 102 to 1.11 × 106 copies (median 5.17 × 104) per 250 ng of RNA from CRC specimens. c-MET mRNA copies in CRC specimens was significantly higher than that from normal colon mucosal epithelium (P = 0.0001). c-MET mRNA copies significantly correlated with the depth of invasion: T1 versus T2, P = 0.007; T1 versus T3/T4, P = 0.0001; T1 versus T2 versus T3/T4, P = 0.0005; and T1/T2 versus T3/T4, P = 0.011. c-MET copy number in primary CRC of N1/N2 staged patients was significantly higher than No cases (P < 0.03). Expression levels of c-MET mRNA were verified with immunohistochemistry analysis of c-MET protein expression in CRC specimens and normal mucosal epithelium. The VEGF-C mRNA copies of primary CRC assessed ranged from 0 to 1.65 × 105 copies (median 580). AIthough VEGF-C mRNA copies in CRC primary tumors were significantly higher than normal colon mucosal epithelium (P = 0.0008), it did not correlate with any major clinicopathological parameters of CRC. Conclusions: This study indicates c-MET mRNA over-expression in primary CRC may be an important prognostic marker for early stage invasion and regional disease metastasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1480-1488
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Apr 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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