The expression of c-Met pathway components in unclassified pleomorphic sarcoma/malignant fibrous histiocytoma (UPS/MFH): A tissue microarray study

Guy Lahat, Pingyu Zhang, Quan Sheng Zhu, Keila Torres, Markus Ghadimi, Kerrington D. Smith, Wei Lien Wang, Alexander J. Lazar*, Dina Lev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Aims: Subclassification of undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma/malignant fibrous histiocytoma (UPS/MFH) into distinct biological cohorts based on the expression patterns of molecular markers can identify patient subsets with especially unfavourable clinical outcomes. Identification of molecular prognosticators amenable for drug targeting can facilitate rational development of UPS/MFH tailored therapies. The aim was to evaluate expression of c-Met pathway components in a large cohort of UPS/MFH samples. Methods and results: An immunohistochemical analysis for hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), c-Met, phospho-c-Met (pc-Met), phospho-mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MAPKK) also known as mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) kinase (p-MEK) and phospho-protein kinase B (p-AKT) was performed on a clinically annotated tissue microarray of 158 UPS/MFH samples. Univariable and multivariable analyses were conducted to evaluate the correlation of molecular variables with UPS/MFH disease specific survival. All evaluated markers were expressed in UPS/MFH to varying levels. Most importantly, strong HGF, pc-Met, p-MEK and p-AKT expression correlated significantly with dismal patient outcome on univariable statistical analysis. Expression of p-MEK and p-AKT remained statistically significant independent prognosticators on multivariable analysis. Conclusions: c-Met pathway components and especially p-MEK and p-AKT are potential prognostic biomarkers for UPS/MFH; their inclusion in future molecular-based staging systems should be evaluated. Furthermore, novel approaches targeting HGF, c-Met, MEK/extracellular-regulated kinase (ERK) and/or AKT should be considered for a subset of UPS/MFH patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-561
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Cancer InstituteR01CA138345


    • C-Met
    • MEK
    • Molecular markers
    • Staging
    • Targeted therapy
    • UPS/MFH


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