Background: Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) can promote proliferation, invasion, and angiogenesis in various tumor cells. However, the prognosis according to expression of HGF/c-Met has not been reported in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the oral tongue (SCCOT). Methods Tumors from 61 patients with SCCOT were evaluated for the expression of HGF and c-Met by immunohistochemistry. For Western blot, we used fresh normal and cancer tissues from 3 patients with SCCOT. Results The positive rates of HGF and c-Met immunostaining in SCCOT were 57.3% and 54.1%, respectively. The c-Met staining was significantly correlated with lymph node metastasis (p =.005), tumor classification (p =.004), and recurrence (p =.018). Survival was significantly affected in patients with positive c-Met expression (p =.003). HGF and c-Met were strongly expressed in cancer tissues on Western blot. Conclusion The c-Met expression may play an important role in the progression and the survival outcome of patients with SCCOT.
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