Supplementary Material for: Expression of c-Met in Primary and Recurrent Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Background:The clinical course of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is complicated, because it often recurs and shows multiple lesions, some of which progress to a more malignant form, shortening the life of the patient. The hepatocyte growth factor receptor c-Met has been shown to play an important role in the pathogenesis of HCC, but the influence of c-Met expression on the clinical course of HCC remains to be fully elucidated. Methods:We randomly selected and included 600 tumor specimens obtained from the primary and recurrent lesions of 319 HCC cases between 1995 and 2007. The expression of c-Met was determined by immunohistochemistry using archived formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded samples. We analyzed the correlation between c-Met expression and clinical parameters, including survival. In addition, we examined c-Met expression in the malignant transition of HCC in all cases including recurrent lesions. Results:Survival analysis using the multivariate Cox proportional-regression model revealed that the prognosis was significantly better in the primary cases with high c-Met expression than in those with low c-Met expression (hazard ratio 0.159, 95% confidence interval 0.065–0.391; p < 0.001). During the course of recurrence, some cases with high c-Met expression returned to low c-Met expression. Among 40 cases with high c-Met expression, 29 survived more than 2 years after detecting the high c-Met expression. Conclusion:High expression of c-Met may be a prognostic factor for a good, rather than a poor, HCC prognosis. The involvement of c-Met expression in the malignant transition of recurrent HCC is obscure.