High level of urokinase-type plasminogen activator is a new prognostic marker in patients with gastric carcinoma

Jae Yong Cho, Hyun Cheol Chung, Sung Hoon Noh, Jae Kyung Roh, Jin Sik Min, Byung Soo Kim

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6 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND. Prognosis of gastric carcinoma is related to invasion and metastasis. Evidence has accumulated that invasion and metastasis in solid tumors require the action of tumor-associated proteases, which promote the dissolution of the surrounding tumor matrix and the basement membrane. The serine protease urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) and its inhibitor, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), appear to have a major function in these processes. Recent reports have demonstrated that expression of these proteolytic enzymes is elevated in breast and colon carcinoma and that it can be associated with invasiveness and poor prognosis. Therefore, the authors evaluated whether the expression and activation of uPA and PAI-1 might be of clinical value as a tumor/biologically defined risk factor in patients with gastric carcinoma. METHODS. Enzyme linked immunoadsorbent assays were used to test for uPA antigens and PAI-1 in tissue extracts of normal and cancerous tissue from 160 gastric carcinoma patients who were enrolled in the Yonsei Cancer Center Study Group. RESULTS. Both uPA and PAI-1 levels were significantly higher in cancerous tissues than in normal tissues (uPA: 9.4 ± 8.7 vs. 5.3 ± 3.1 ng/mg protein cytosol; PAI-1: 10.9 ± 9.1 vs. 5.8 ± 2.9 ng/mg protein cytosol), (P < 0.001, respectively). Both high uPA and PAI-1 levels were associated with differentiation of the tumor (P = 0.04 and P = 0.004, respectively), and a high PAI-1 level was associated with lymph node metastasis at an advanced stage (P = 0.003 and P = 0.04, respectively). There was a correlation between the levels of uPA and PAI-1 expression in cancerous tissues (correlation coefficient = 0.57). In univariate analysis, a high level of uPA or PAI-1 was associated with a short relapse free survival, but in multivariate analysis only a high level of uPA was an independent prognostic parameter for a short relapse free survival for gastric carcinoma patients. CONCLUSIONS. These data indicate that uPA is a new independent variable for the identification of high risk gastric carcinoma patients. Therefore, therapy targeting uPA can be applied as a new biologic treatment modality for these individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)878-883
Number of pages6
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Mar 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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