Clinicopathological impacts of high c-Met expression in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: a meta-analysis and review

Jung Han Kim _, Bum Jun Kim and Hyeong Su Kim

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:113120-113128. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21303

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Jung Han Kim1,*, Bum Jun Kim1,2,* and Hyeong Su Kim1

1Division of Hemato-Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kangnam Sacred-Heart Hospital, Hallym University Medical Center, Hallym University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea

2Department of Internal Medicine, National Army Capital Hospital, The Armed Forces Medical Command, Sungnam, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Jung Han Kim, email: [email protected], [email protected]

Keywords: c-Met, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, prognosis, meta-analysis, review

Received: July 05, 2017     Accepted: September 15, 2017     Published: September 28, 2017


High c-Met expression has been observed in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). However, its clinicopathological impact remains controversial. We performed this meta-analysis to evaluate the pathologic and prognostic impacts of c-Met overexpression in patients with HNSCC. A systematic computerized search of the electronic databases was carried out. From 16 studies, 1,948 patients with HNSCC were included in the meta-analysis. Compared with HNSCCs showing low c-Met expression, tumors with high c-Met expression were significantly associated with higher rate of lymph node metastasis (odds ratio = 3.26, 95% CI: 2.27–4.69, P < 0.00001) and higher T stage (odds ratio = 1.33, 95% CI: 1.03–1.71, P = 0.03). In addition, patients with c-Met-high HNSCC showed significantly worse disease-free survival (hazard ratio = 1.49, 95% CI: 1.04–2.14, P = 0.03) and overall survival (hazard ratio = 1.83, 95% CI: 1.29–2.60, P = 0.0007) than those with c-Met-low tumor. In conclusion, this meta-analysis demonstrates that high c-Met expression is significantly associated with worse pathological features and prognosis, indicating c-Met overexpression is an adverse prognostic marker for patients with HNSCC.

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