DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 2007. 15(3):167-173.

Detection of hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor receptor (c-Met) in axillary clearance after mastectomy for breast cancer using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction
El-Refaey H.K., Naguib S.M., Ragab Shalaby A.M.


The diverse biological effects of hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF) are mediated by c-Met which is preferentially expressed on epithelial cells. Met signaling has a role in normal cellular activities, and may be associated with development and progression of malignant processes.

In this study presence of Met in the axillary drainage from patients who underwent conservative operations for breast cancer, and its prognostic significance was examined. Sixty-two consecutive patients with invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast which were suitable for breast-conserving treatment participated in the study. The output of the drain that had been placed in the axilla during the operation was collected, and the presence of Met and β-actin were assessed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays. The data were compared with the pathological features of the tumor and the axillary lymph nodes, and with the estrogen and progesterone receptors status.

RT-PCR of the axillary lymphatic drainage was positive for Met in 46 (74.2%) of the patients and positive assays were correlated with increase in tumor size and grade of capillary and lymphatic invasion, as well as with lymph node metastasis (P < 0.02, for all comparisons). All 24 patients with axillary lymph node metastases in comparison with those without lymph node (57.9%) metastases had positive assays for Met. While all ten patients with tumor involvement in the margins of the resection had positive assays for Met in their lymphatic fluid, only 36 out of 52 patients (69.2%) were positive for met assay. Finally, Met showed negative correlations with positive estrogen and progesterone receptor assays (P<0.02).

From the results of this study it may concluded that Met can be detected in the axillary fluids of patients with breast cancer and its expression in the axillary drainage may be a potential prognostic factor. This finding might be useful in therapeutic considerations since a positive assay for Met in histologically node-negative patients might indicates the need to search for node microinvasion or involvement of the excision margins with tumor


Conservative Breast Ductal Carcinoma Management,

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