Prognostic relevance of longitudinal HGF levels in serum of patients with ovarian cancer

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung


The pleiotropic protein hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is the only known ligand of the tyrosine kinase mesenchymal–epithelial transition (cMET) receptor. The HGF/cMET pathway mediates invasion and migration of ovarian cancer cells, and upregulation of HGF/cMET pathway components has been associated with poor prognosis. This study investigated the clinical relevance of circulating HGF in serum of patients with ovarian cancer. Serum HGF (sHGF) was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in a total of 471 serum samples from 82 healthy controls and 113 patients with ovarian cancer (88.5% with ≥ FIGO III). Patient samples were collected at primary diagnosis and at four follow-up time points throughout treatment and at disease recurrence. Patients with ovarian cancer showed elevated median sHGF levels at primary diagnosis, and sHGF levels transiently increased after surgery and normalized in the course of chemotherapy, even dropping below initial baseline. Higher levels of sHGF were an independent predictor for shorter overall survival (OS) (a) at primary diagnosis (HR = 0.41, 95% CI: 0.22–0.78, P = 0.006), (b) at longitudinal follow-up time points (after surgery and before/during/after chemotherapy), (c) along the patients’ individual dynamics (HR = 0.21, 95% CI: 0.07–0.63, P = 0.005), and (d) among a subgroup analysis of patients with BRCA1/2 wild-type ovarian cancer. This is the first study proposing sHGF as an independent prognostic biomarker for ovarian cancer at primary diagnosis and in the course of platinum-based chemotherapy, irrespective of the postoperative residual disease after surgical debulking. sHGF could be implemented into clinical diagnostics as a CA125 auxiliary tumor marker for individualized prognosis stratification and sHGF-guided therapy monitoring.


Seiten (von - bis)3626-3638
FachzeitschriftMolecular oncology
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Dez. 2021

Externe IDs

PubMed 33738970


Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung


  • biomarker, cMET, HGF, ovarian cancer, prognosis