Clinicopathological correlation of keratinocyte growth factor and matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression in human gastric cancer


Aims and background

Keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) is reported to be implicated in the growth of some cancer cells. Matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) is thought to enhance the tumor invasion and metastasis ability. This study was aimed at analyzing the relationship between KGF and MMP-9 expression and patients’ clinicopathological characteristics to clarify the clinical significance of the expression of KGF and MMP-9 in gastric cancer.


Tissue samples from 161 patients with primary gastric cancer were investigated using immunohistochemistry. The relationship between KGF and/or MMP-9 expression and clinicopathological characteristics was analyzed.


KGF expression and MMP-9 expression in gastric cancer tissue were observed in 62 cases (38.5%) and 97 cases (60.2%), respectively. MMP-9 was significantly associated with depth of invasion, lymph node metastasis and TNM stage. The prognosis of MMP-9-positive patients was significantly poorer than that of MMP-9-negative patients (p = 0.009). KGF expression was positively correlated with MMP-9 expression in gastric cancer, and the prognosis of patients with both KGF- and MMP-9-positive tumors was significantly worse than that of patients with negative tumors for either factor (p = 0.045). Expression of MMP-9 was revealed to be an independent prognostic factor (p = 0.026).


Coexpression of KGF and MMP-9 in gastric cancer could be a useful prognostic factor, and MMP-9 might also serve as a novel target for both prognostic prediction and therapeutics.

Tumori 2015; 101(5): 566 - 571




Qing Zhang, Ping Wang, Ming Shao, Shi-Wen Chen, Zhi-Feng Xu, Feng Xu, Zhong-Yin Yang, Bing-Ya Liu, Qin-Long Gu, Wen-Jian Zhang, Yong Li

Article History


Financial support: This study was supported by grants from the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality, Pudong New Area (No. PKJ2013-Y02), and the Key Disciplines Program of Pudong New Area.
Conflict of interest: The authors have no competing interests to disclose.

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  • Department of Medical Oncology, GongLi Hospital, Shanghai - China
  • Department of Pathology, Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital, Affiliated Shanghai Jiao Tong University, School of Medicine, Shanghai - China
  • Department of Gastroenterology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Bengbu Medical College, Bengbu, Anhui Province - China
  • Department of General Surgery, Shanghai Institute of Digestive Surgery, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai - China
  • Shandong University, School of Medicine, Jinan, Shandong Province - China
  • Qing Zhang, Ping Wang and Ming Shao contributed equally to this work. Ping Wang and Ming Shao as co-first author

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