Is the Circulating Urokinase Plasminogen Activator Upregulated by the Circulating p105 Fraction of the HER-2/neu Proto-oncogene in Patients with Cervical Cancer?

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It has been suggested that urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) in cancer cells is upregulated by the p185 kD form of the HER-2/neu oncogene. This study was performed to see if the extracellular domain of HER-2/neu, the p105 fraction, which is found in the circulation, has any regulatory influence on uPA in patients with cervical cancer. Levels of uPA and p105 HER-2/neu were determined in blood from age-matched controls and patients with early and advanced cervical cancer. In the patients with cervical cancer, samples were obtained before treatment only. No significant increase in either uPA or HER-2/neu was seen in the patients before their treatment for cervical cancer. Additionally, correlation analysis of circulating uPA and HER-2/neu against each other in both the controls and cervical cancer indicated no relationship except in early stage disease. It appears that circulating uPA and HER-2/neu are not altered in patients with cervical cancer, either early or advanced stages. The upregulation of uPA by HER-2/neu seen in cancer cells in vitro appears to occur in vivo in early stage cervical cancer.

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