J Cancer 2016; 7(5):587-594. doi:10.7150/jca.13687

Research Paper

C-Met as a Molecular Marker for Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Its Association with Clinical Outcome

Ya-Ping Xu1,2, Gang Lin3, Xiao-Jiang Sun2, Mao-Hui Yan2, Gu Zhang4, Jin-Lin Hu4, Wen-Yong Sun4, Jin-Ming Yu5✉

1. School of Medicine, Shandong University, Jinan, China;
2. Department of Radiation Oncology, Zhejiang Cancer Hospital, Hangzhou, China;
3. First Clinical Medical School, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, China;
4. Department of Pathology, Zhejiang Cancer Hospital, Hangzhou, China;
5. Department of Radiation Oncology, Shandong University Affiliated Shandong Cancer Hospital and Institute, Jinan, Shandong, China.

Abstract

Background: Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), c-Met, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) are overexpressed in a variety of human cancers, and may serve as biomarkers for disease prognosis. We examined whether high expression of these molecular markers correlates with poor disease prognosis in esophageal squamous cell cancer (ESCC). Materials and Methods: Expression of EGFR, c-Met, and HER2 protein was detected by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in 180 paraffin-embedded tissue samples from stage IIB-IIIC ESCC patients. The overall survival (OS) rates were calculated according to the Kaplan-Meier method, and the log-rank test was used to evaluate differences between survival curves. The Cox proportional hazards model was used for univariate and multivariate analyses. Results: The median survival of all patients was 46 months. There was no significant difference in OS in terms of HER2 and EGFR status (P = 0.177 and P=0.061, respectively). However, there was a significant difference in OS between c-Met high expression patients and c-Met low expression or negative patients (median: 41.9 months vs. 56.7 months; P = 0.001). Multivariate analysis also showed that, of the covariates analyzed, c-Met high expression was the only prognostic factor for OS (HR: 0.459 [95 % confidence interval: 0.287-0.733]; P = 0.001). Patients with ESCC that had concurrent overexpression of EGFR and c-Met had significantly worse survival than ESCC that displayed overexpression of either EGFR or c-Met individually or that did not have overexpression of either protein (P=0.000). Conclusions: Overexpression of HER2 and EGFR individually is not significantly associated with poor prognosis in ESCC. High expression of c-Met may be indicative of a poorer prognosis in ESCC. In order to promote efficient and rapid development of therapeutic methods in ESCC, further studies are necessary to explore the role of c-Met.

Keywords: Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, Epidermal growth factor receptor, C-MET, Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2.

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How to cite this article:
Xu YP, Lin G, Sun XJ, Yan MH, Zhang G, Hu JL, Sun WY, Yu JM. C-Met as a Molecular Marker for Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Its Association with Clinical Outcome. J Cancer 2016; 7(5):587-594. doi:10.7150/jca.13687. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v07p0587.htm