Impact of c-Met expression on angiogenesis in soft tissue sarcomas: correlation to microvessel-density

  • Cornelius Kuhnen
  • Thomas Muehlberger
  • Maria Honsel
  • Edina Tolnay
  • Hans Ulrich Steinau
  • Klaus-Michael Müller
Original Paper


Purpose and methods

The c-Met protein is significant for oncogenesis and angiogenesis within the c-Met/HGF/SF-mediator system. The aim of this study was the analysis of c-Met immunoexpression/-synthesis and microvessel density as parameters for angiogenesis and prognosis in 115 soft tissue sarcomas.


C-Met could be detected by immunohistochemistry in 87% of sarcomas. In all, 60.9% of cases exhibited absent or faint expression of c-Met protein, and 39.1% high expression of c-Met protein with a correlation between tumor grading and c-Met immunoexpression. Using in situ hybridization with detection of c-met-mRNA-transcripts, c-Met protein synthesis within tumor cells could be demonstrated. A statistically significant correlation between c-Met immunoexpression and tumor microvessel density was found. No prognostic value of c-Met expression and microvessel density could be detected in 56 patients with clinical follow-up (P=0.8506 and P=0.9329 for disease-free survival).


The results underline a role of c-Met as an oncoprotein in soft tissue sarcomas with correlation between immunoexpression and grading. The statistically significant correlation between c-Met expression and microvessel density (as a parameter of tumor angiogenesis) suggests an angiogenic function of the c-Met/HGF/SF mediator system in malignant mesenchymal tumors.


Angiogenesis Soft tissue sarcoma c-Met oncoprotein Microvessel density 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the excellent technical assistance of Susanne Schaub-Kuhnen and Cornelia Troske (Institute for Pathology, University Hospital Bergmannsheil, Bochum).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cornelius Kuhnen
    • 1
  • Thomas Muehlberger
    • 2
  • Maria Honsel
    • 1
  • Edina Tolnay
    • 1
  • Hans Ulrich Steinau
    • 3
  • Klaus-Michael Müller
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Pathology, Limb tumor registryUniversity Hospital BergmannsheilBochumGermany
  2. 2.Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University HospitalHannover Medical SchoolHannoverGermany
  3. 3.Department of Plastic Reconstructive and Hand Surgery-Burn Centre, Limb tumor registryUniversity Hospital Bergmannsheil44789 BochumGermany

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