[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 28-Sep-2010
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Contact: Jeremy Moore
jeremy.moore@aacr.org
267-646-0557
American Association for Cancer Research

c-Met may be a biomarker for metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma

DENVER Targeting c-Met may be a promising personalized treatment method for approximately 45 percent of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who have c-Met-positive tumors, according to study results presented at the Fourth AACR International Conference on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development.

HCC is the most common primary malignant tumor of the liver; c-Met is a receptor for hepatocyte growth factor that appears to drive liver cancer growth, invasion and metastasis.

"Current therapies for HCC patients are 'one size fits all.' We propose that molecular profiling will enable better therapy for HCC patients with a c-Met positive tumor," said Hanning You, M.D., Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow working in the laboratory of C. Bart Rountree, M.D., in the departments of pediatrics and pharmacology, at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pa.

Using a preclinical translational study to validate c-Met as a target for HCC, You and colleagues found c-Met was highly overexpressed in metastatic liver cancer cells.

"By targeting c-Met we were able to suppress tumor growth in vivo and kill these metastatic liver cancer cells," said You.

Since c-Met inhibitor stopped proliferation and tumor growth of metastatic HCC cells, the researchers concluded that c-Met might be a potential personalized target of metastatic HCC. In addition, they found that results of a separate meta-analysis of six studies and 1,051 patients showed that c-Met activation is associated with poor prognosis in HCC.

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The mission of the American Association for Cancer Research is to prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1907, the AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research. The membership includes 32,000 basic, translational and clinical researchers; health care professionals; and cancer survivors and advocates in the United States and more than 90 other countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise from the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through high-quality scientific and educational programs. It funds innovative, meritorious research grants, research fellowships and career development awards. The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 18,000 participants who share the latest discoveries and developments in the field. Special Conferences throughout the year present novel data across a wide variety of topics in cancer research, treatment and patient care. The AACR publishes six major peer-reviewed journals: Cancer Research; Clinical Cancer Research; Molecular Cancer Therapeutics; Molecular Cancer Research; Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention; and Cancer Prevention Research. The AACR also publishes CR, a magazine for cancer survivors and their families, patient advocates, physicians and scientists, providing a forum for sharing essential, evidence-based information and perspectives on progress in cancer research, survivorship and advocacy.



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