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Yin X.,Liver Cancer Institute and Zhongshan Hospital | Li Y.-W.,Liver Cancer Institute and Zhongshan Hospital | Jin J.-J.,Fudan University | Zhou Y.,Liver Cancer Institute and Zhongshan Hospital | And 3 more authors.
Oncology Letters | Year: 2013

Recently, growing evidence has demonstrated that aberrant expression of pluripotent stem cell-related genes may confer primitive and aggressive traits and be associated with unfavorable clinical outcomes in certain solid cancers. However, the role of pluripotent stem cell gene expression in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains unexplored. We evaluated the expression of the pluripotent stem cell genes Oct4, Sox2 and Klf4, as well as that of the c-Myc, Nanog and Lin28 genes in HCC samples and corresponding adjacent non-tumor liver samples obtained from 57 patients using quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR). The results revealed that six pluripotent stem cell gene expression levels were upregulated in the tumor tissues compared with the corresponding adjacent non-tumor liver tissues. In HCC tissues, aberrant expression of Sox2 and Lin28 was associated with a large tumor size (P=0.02 and P=0.03, respectively), while increased expression levels of c-Myc (P=0.01) were correlated with vascular invasion. Moreover, high Klf4 expression levels were associated with aggressive tumor behaviors in terms of vascular invasion (P=0.02) and poor tumor differentiation (P=0.03). Survival analysis revealed that Klf4 expression was independently associated with overall survival [OS; hazard ratio (HR), 8.61; 95% confidential interval (CI), 2.7-27.5; P<0.001] and recurrence-free survival (RFS; HR, 3.96; 95% CI, 1.3-11.6; P=0.01). In conclusion, pluripotent stem cell genes are associated with HCC progression and a poor prognosis. The development of therapeutic strategies, including adjuvant therapy, that take cancer stem cell (CSC)-related markers into consideration is likely to be a key factor in further improvements of the prognosis of HCC patients undergoing curative liver resection. Source

Hou J.,Second Military Medical University | Hou J.,Chinese Academy of Sciences | Zhou Y.,Second Military Medical University | Zheng Y.,Second Military Medical University | And 29 more authors.
Cancer Cell | Year: 2014

In hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), biomarkers for prediction of prognosis and response to immunotherapy such as interferon-α (IFN-α) would be very useful in the clinic. We found that expression of retinoic acid-inducible gene-I (RIG-I), an IFN-stimulated gene, was significantly downregulated in human HCC tissues. Patients with low RIG-I expression had shorter survival and poorer response to IFN-α therapy, suggesting that RIG-I is a useful prognosis and IFN-α response predictor for HCC patients. Mechanistically, RIG-I enhances IFN-α response by amplifying IFN-α effector signaling via strengthening STAT1 activation. Furthermore, we found that RIG-I deficiency promotes HCC carcinogenesis and that hepatic RIG-I expression is lower in men than in women. RIG-I may therefore be a tumor suppressor in HCC and contribute to HCC gender disparity. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Source

Huang H.,Liver Cancer Institute and Zhongshan Hospital | Zhang X.-F.,Fudan University | Zhou H.-J.,Liver Cancer Institute and Zhongshan Hospital | Xue Y.-H.,Liver Cancer Institute and Zhongshan Hospital | And 3 more authors.
Cancer Science | Year: 2010

Osteopontin (OPN) plays an important role in the development, invasion, and metastasis of malignancies. Recently, several studies have reported that OPN enhances chemoresistance in small-cell lung cancer and breast cancer by blocking caspase-9 and caspase-3-dependent cell apoptosis. The aim of this study was to assess the value of OPN and caspase-3 for predicting tumor recurrence after curative resection in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients. We found that OPN expression increased concordantly with increasing metastatic potential in human HCC cell lines, whereas caspase-3 expression declined. In a tumor tissue microarray immunohistochemical analysis, we found that patients with higher levels of OPN and lower levels of caspase-3 had a significantly poorer prognosis than patients with lower OPN and higher caspase-3 levels. The combination of OPN and caspase-3 expression thus served as an effective prognosticator. These findings suggest that OPN alone or in combination with caspase-3 may act as an independent indicator for HCC patients after curative resection. © 2010 Japanese Cancer Association. Source

Zhang W.,Liver Cancer Institute and Zhongshan Hospital | Zhang W.,Tianjin Medical University | Sun H.-C.,Liver Cancer Institute and Zhongshan Hospital | Wang W.-Q.,Liver Cancer Institute and Zhongshan Hospital | And 11 more authors.
Gastroenterology | Year: 2012

Background & Aims: Antiangiogenic agents can sometimes promote tumor invasiveness and metastasis, but little is known about the effects of the antiangiogenic drug sorafenib on progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Methods: Sorafenib was administered orally (30 mg·kg -1·day-1) to mice with orthotopic tumors grown from HCC-LM3, SMMC7721, or HepG2 cells. We analyzed survival times of mice, along with tumor growth, metastasis within liver and to lung, and induction of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Polymerase chain reaction arrays were used to determine the effects of sorafenib on gene expression patterns in HCC cells. We analyzed regulation of HIV-1 Tat interactive protein 2 (HTATIP2) by sorafenib and compared levels of this protein in tumor samples from 75 patients with HCC (21 who received sorafenib after resection and 54 who did not). Results: Sorafenib promoted invasiveness and the metastatic potential of orthotopic tumors grown from SMMC7721 and HCC-LM3 cells but not from HepG2 cells. In gene expression analysis, HTATIP2 was down-regulated by sorafenib. HCC-LM3 cells that expressed small hairpin RNAs against HTATIP2 (knockdown) formed less invasive tumors in mice following administration of sorafenib than HCC-LM3 without HTATIP2 knockdown. Alternatively, HepG2 cells that expressed transgenic HTATIP2 formed more invasive tumors in mice following administration of sorafenib. Sorafenib induced the epithelial-mesenchymal transition in HCC cell lines, which was associated with expression of HTATIP2. Sorafenib regulated expression of HTATIP2 via Jun-activated kinase (JAK) and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)3 signaling. Sorafenib therapy prolonged recurrence-free survival in patients who expressed lower levels of HTATIP2 compared with higher levels. Conclusions: Sorafenib promotes invasiveness and the metastatic potential of orthotopic tumors from HCC cells in mice, down-regulating expression of HTATIP2 via JAK-STAT3 signaling. © 2012 AGA Institute. Source

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