Background: HGF (hepatocyte growth factor) is also known as a scatter factor and is multifunctional cytokine that modulates processes such as growth, adhesion, motility, matrix degradation, invasion, and angiogenesis. We investigated whether serum HGF was a biomarker for the early detection and diagnosis of gastric cancer in a nested case-control study.

Methods: The study population was composed of 282 cases and 282 matched controls within the Korean Multicenter Cancer Cohort. Plasma HGF was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Conditional logistic regression models were used to compute the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).

Results: According to stratified analysis on age, sex, H. pylori infection, CagA and smoking, gastric cancer patients which are older, female, H. pylori positive, CagA positive and non-smokers had significantly higher serum HGF concentrations than normal controls. When conducting a logistic regression analysis of a group with the lowest concentration as a reference after dividing them into quartile according to serum HGF concentration, also, a group with the highest serum HGF concentration(≥393.7 pg/mL) showed a significantly increased risk of gastric cancer(OR=2.4 95% CI 1.4-3.9). In addition, higher serum HGF concentrations were associated with an increased risk for gastric cancer and it was statistically significant (p for trend=0.0054).

Conclusions: Our finding suggested the possibility that HGF protein can be a biomarker to predict the risk of gastric cancer.

Citation Format: Seung Hyun Ma, Jae Jeong Yang, Ko Kwang-Pil, Aesun Shin, Hai-Rim Shin, Daehee Kang, Keun-Young Yoo, Sue K. Park. Predictive value of plasma hepatocyte growth factor levels in gastric cancer risk: A nested case-control study within the Korean Multicenter Cancer Cohort. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Eleventh Annual AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research; 2012 Oct 16-19; Anaheim, CA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Prev Res 2012;5(11 Suppl):Abstract nr A20.

Note: This abstract was not presented at the conference.