Hong Yan Zhou, Yuen Lam Pon and Alice S.T. Wong Pages 469 - 480 ( 12 )
Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecological cancers in North America and Europe. Despite its clinical significance, the factors that regulate the development and progression of ovarian cancer are among the least understood of all major human malignancies. A growth factor with pleiotropic effects, which has attracted increasing attention in recent years, is the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and its receptor MET. While deregulated HGF/MET signaling is observed in many tumors, the consequences of MET activation are complex and context dependent. Recent observations have demonstrated a cross-talk of other signaling pathways with MET signaling. This review summarizes the key findings and recent advances in our understanding of HGF and MET in the transformation and progression of ovarian cancer. We will begin with a brief discussion on the role of HGF and MET in the physiology of normal ovarian surface epithelium (OSE) and ovarian cancer development. In particular, the coexpression of HGF and MET in OSE of women with hereditary ovarian cancer syndromes emphasizes their importance in neoplastic transformation of OSE. The involvement of HGF in other aspects of tumor progression, such as invasion and metastasis, and novel downstream target genes activated by HGF is summarized next. The therapeutic potential of HGF to treat ovarian cancer and to improve response to conventional chemotherapy is also described. Finally, the most recent progress in drug development and future areas of research in terms of their potential clinical implications are discussed.
HGF, MET, OSE, ovarian cancer
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