Angiomyolipoma (AML) is a benign mesenchymal tumor that is frequently found in the kidney and, rarely, in the liver. The natural history of hepatic AML has not been clarified, and, because of the similar patterns in imaging studies, such as ultrasonography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging, some of these tumors have been overdiagnosed as hepatocellular carcinoma in the past. With an increase in the number of case reports showing detailed imaging studies and immunohistochemical staining of the tumor with human melanoma black-45, the diagnostic accuracy is also increasing. In this paper, we focused on the role of noninvasive imaging studies and histological diagnosis showing distinctive characteristics of this tumor. In addition, because several reports have described tumor progression in terms of size, recurrence after surgical resection, metastasis to other organs, and portal thrombosis, we summarized these cases for the management and discussed the indications for the surgical treatment of this tumor.
There is no standard therapeutic procedure for the hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with poor hepatic reserve function. With the approval of newly developed chemotherapeutic agent of miriplatin, we have firstly conducted the phase I study of CDDP powder (DDP-H) and miriplatin combination therapy and reported its safety and efficacy for treating unresectable HCC in such cases. To determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) for the combination of transarterial oily chemoembolization (TOCE) and transarterial chemotherapy (TAC) using miriplatin and DDP-H for treating unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Transarterial chemotherapy using DDP-H was performed through the proper hepatic artery targeting the HCC nodules by increasing the dose of DDP-H (35–65 mg/m2) followed by targeting the HCC nodules by transarterial oily chemoembolization with miriplatin.
A total of nine patients were enrolled in this study and no DLT was observed with any dose of DDP-H in all cases in whom 80 mg (median, 18–120) miriplatin was administered. An anti-tumour efficacy rating for partial response was obtained in one patient, while a total of four patients (among eight evaluated) showed stable disease response, leading to 62.5% of disease control rate. The pharmacokinetic results showed no further increase in plasma platinum concentration following miriplatin administration.
Our results suggest that a combination of DDP-H and miriplatin can be safely administered up to their respective MTD for treating HCC.
This study was registered with the University Hospital Medical Information Network Clinical Trials Registry (UMIN-CTR000003541).
Miriplatin; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Cisplatin powder; Phase I clinical trial
To determine the incidence of progressive internal carotid artery (ICA) stenosis by head and neck contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) in 82 patients who underwent surgery, chemotherapy, or combination therapy for oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC).
The study included 82 patients who underwent head and neck contrast-enhanced CT after surgery alone or combined surgery and chemotherapy for OSCC at the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery of Ichikawa General Hospital, Tokyo Dental College, or Tokyo Dental College Oral Cancer Center between December 2002 and March 2010.
Comparison with previously obtained head and neck contrast-enhanced CT images revealed progressive arterial stenosis of the ICA in five patients with a mean age of 62.0 years. All five patients were male, and their OSCC sites were the tongue in two, the floor of the mouth in two, and the mandibular gingiva in one. Tumor resection and neck dissection were performed for four patients and tumor resection alone for one patient. Four patients underwent chemotherapy. ICA stenosis occurred on the same side as the tumor in all five patients.
The results of this study suggest that, given the possibility of post-treatment vascular events, attention must be paid to subsequent changes in the ICA over time. The results also indicate the usefulness of head and neck contrast-enhanced CT in identifying such problems.
Radiological diagnosis; Retrospective study; Radiation therapy; Plaque; NASCET
AIM: To investigate the impact of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection on cellular gene expression, by conducting both in vitro and in vivo studies.
METHODS: Knockdown of HBV was targeted by stable expression of short hairpin RNA (shRNA) in huH-1 cells. Cellular gene expression was compared using a human 30K cDNA microarray in the cells and quantified by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) (qRT-PCR) in the cells, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and surrounding non-cancerous liver tissues (SL).
RESULTS: The expressions of HBsAg and HBx protein were markedly suppressed in the cells and in HBx transgenic mouse liver, respectively, after introduction of shRNA. Of the 30K genes studied, 135 and 103 genes were identified as being down- and up-regulated, respectively, by at least twofold in the knockdown cells. Functional annotation revealed that 85 and 62 genes were classified into four up-regulated and five down-regulated functional categories, respectively. When gene expression levels were compared between HCC and SL, eight candidate genes that were confirmed to be up- or down-regulated in the knockdown cells by both microarray and qRT-PCR analyses were not expressed as expected from HBV reduction in HCC, but had similar expression patterns in HBV- and hepatitis C virus-associated cases. In contrast, among the eight genes, only APM2 was constantly repressed in HBV non-associated tissues irrespective of HCC or SL.
CONCLUSION: The signature of cellular gene expression should provide new information regarding the pathophysiological mechanisms of persistent hepatitis and hepatocarcinogenesis that are associated with HBV infection.
Hepatitis B virus; Differential gene expression; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Gene expression signature; Adipose most abundant 2
AIM: To reveal the manner of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) focusing on multicentric occurrence (MO) of HCC.
METHODS: We compared clinicopathological characteristics between patients with and without MO of HCC arising from NASH background. The clinical features were implicated with reference to the literature available.
RESULTS: MO of HCC was identified with histological proof in 4 out of 12 patients with NASH-related HCC (2 males and 2 females). One patient had synchronous MO; an advanced HCC, two well-differentiated HCCs and a dysplastic nodule, followed by the development of metachronous MO of HCC. The other three patients had multiple advanced HCCs accompanied by a well-differentiated HCC or a dysplastic nodule. Of these three patients, one had synchronous MO, one had metachronous MO and the other had both synchronous and metachronous MO. There were no obvious differences between the patients with or without MO in terms of liver function tests, tumor markers and anatomical extent of HCC. On the other hand, all four patients with MO of HCC were older than 70 years old and had the comorbidities of obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), hypertension and cirrhosis. Although these conditions were not limited to MO of HCC, all the conditions were met in only one of eight patients without MO of HCC. Thus, concurrence of these conditions may be a predisposing situation to synchronous MO of HCC. In particular, old age, T2DM and cirrhosis were suggested to be prerequisite for MO because these factors were depicted in common among two other cases with MO of HCC under NASH in the literature.
CONCLUSION: The putative predisposing factors and necessary preconditions for synchronous MO of HCC in NASH were suggested in this study. Further investigations are required to clarify the accurate prevalence and predictors of MO to establish better strategies for treatment and prevention leading to the prognostic improvement in NASH.
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Multicentric occurrence
Magnifying colonoscopy with NBI has been shown to be useful for the differential diagnosis of tumors. However, the relationship between findings on NBI magnification and the microvessel architecture of colorectal lesions remains to be clarified.
The aim of this study was to clarify the correlation between NBI findings and the microvascular architecture of colorectal lesions according to the depth of microvessels from the mucosal surface.
A total of 22 colorectal lesions (11 tubular adenomas and 11 hyperplasia) obtained from 22 patients were studied. These lesions were analyzed microscopically on tissue specimens immunostained with CD34. Three-dimensional images were reconstructed from serial sections of tubular adenomas, hyperplasia, and normal mucosa.
Three-dimensional reconstructed images of tubular adenoma and normal mucosa to a depth of less than 150 μm from the mucosal surface showed similar structures to images obtained by NBI magnification. Microvessel diameter was significantly larger in tubular adenoma than in normal mucosa (P = 0.002) and hyperplasia (P = 0.034), and microvessel area was significantly larger in tubular adenoma than in normal mucosa (P < 0.001) and hyperplasia (P < 0.001) only in the superficial mucosal layer (to a depth of less than 150 μm).
TA was characterized by thicker microvessels and higher volume of microvessels than NM and HP. Compared with white light, NBI can more accurately depict the characteristics of microvessels because it uses light with short wavelengths, thereby contributing to high diagnostic capability.
Colorectal neoplasms; Computer-assisted 3-dimensional imaging; Narrow-band imaging; Colonoscopy
Despite the recent progress in interferon (IFN) therapies for chronic hepatitis C, liver cirrhosis remains refractory. One of the major obstacles to successful IFN therapy is low platelet count. Currently, splenic interventions, such as partial splenic embolization (PSE) or surgical splenectomy, have been applied effectively and make standard IFN therapy possible. However, there may be a group of patients with low platelet counts who can be treated without splenic intervention. We here report two patients with advanced type C liver cirrhosis who were successfully treated using very-low-dose pegylated interferon a2a plus ribavirin. One patient had a very low platelet count (2.5 × 104/μl) due to splenomegaly before treatment. However, pretreatment serum HCV titers were low in both patients and early viral responses were obtained in both. Because PSE or splenectomy may still have some safety concerns, this attenuated IFN treatment protocol can be an alternative therapeutic option for patients with advanced type C liver disease, but good virological factors for sustained virological response.
Liver cirrhosis type C; Low-dose pegylated interferon; Ribavirin; Low platelets; Low neutrophils; Avoiding splenic intervention; Low HCV titers
AIM: To investigate whether a noninvasive measurement of tissue strain has a potential usefulness for management of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
METHODS: In total 26 patients, 23 NASHs and 3 normal controls were enrolled in this study. NASH was staged based on Brunt criterion. At a region of interest (ROI), a shear wave was evoked by implementing an acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI), and the propagation velocity was quantified.
RESULTS: Shear wave velocity (SWV) could be reproducibly quantified at all ROIs in all subjects except for 4 NASH cases, in which a reliable SWV value was not calculated at several ROIs. An average SWV of 1.34 ± 0.26 m/s in fibrous stage 0-1 was significantly slower than 2.20 ± 0.74 m/s and 2.90 ± 1.01 m/s in stages 3 and 4, respectively, but was not significantly different from 1.79 ± 0.78 m/s in stage 2. When a cutoff value was set at 1.47 m/s, receiver operating characteristic analysis showed significance to dissociate stages 3 and 4 from stage 0-1 (P = 0.0092) with sensitivity, specificity and area under curve of 100%, 75% and 94.2%, respectively. In addition, the correlation between SWV and hyaluronic acid was significant (P < 0.0001), while a tendency toward negative correlation was observed with serum albumin (P = 0.053).
CONCLUSION: The clinical implementation of ARFI provides noninvasive repeated evaluations of liver stiffness at an arbitrary position, which has the potential to shed new light on NASH management.
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; Ultrasound; Liver stiffness measurement; Shear wave velocity; Acoustic radiation force impulse
AIM: To reveal the characteristics of CD133+ cells in the liver.
METHODS: This study examined the histological characteristics of CD133+ cells in non-neoplastic and neoplastic liver tissues by immunostaining, and also analyzed the biological characteristics of CD133+ cells derived from human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or cholangiocarcinoma cell lines.
RESULTS: Immunostaining revealed constant expression of CD133 in non-neoplastic and neoplastic biliary epithelium, and these cells had the immunophenotype CD133+/CK19+/HepPar-1-. A small number of CD133+/CK19-/HepPar-1+ cells were also identified in HCC and combined hepatocellular and cholangiocarcinoma. In addition, small ductal structures, resembling the canal of Hering, partly surrounded by hepatocytes were positive for CD133. CD133 expression was observed in three HCC (HuH7, PLC5 and HepG2) and two cholangiocarcinoma cell lines (HuCCT1 and CCKS1). Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) revealed that CD133+ and CD133- cells derived from HuH7 and HuCCT1 cells similarly produced CD133+ and CD133- cells during subculture. To examine the relationship between CD133+ cells and the side population (SP) phenotype, FACS was performed using Hoechst 33342 and a monoclonal antibody against CD133. The ratios of CD133+/CD133- cells were almost identical in the SP and non-SP in HuH7. In addition, four different cellular populations (SP/CD133+, SP/CD133-, non-SP/CD133+, and non-SP/CD133-) could similarly produce CD133+ and CD133- cells during subculture.
CONCLUSION: This study revealed that CD133 could be a biliary and progenitor cell marker in vivo. However, CD133 alone is not sufficient to detect tumor-initiating cells in cell lines.
Cholangiocarcinoma; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Keratins; Stem cells
Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is a causative agent of adult T-cell leukemia (ATL), whereas its relative HTLV-2 is not associated with any malignancies including ATL. HTLV-1 Tax1 transformed a T-cell line from interleukin (IL)-2-dependent growth to IL-2-independent growth, with an activity that was much more potent in comparison to HTLV-2 Tax2. This distinction was mediated by at least two Tax1 specific functions, an interaction with host cellular factors through the PDZ domain binding motif (PBM) and the activation of NF-kappaB2 (NF-κB2)/p100.
Using a series of Tax1 chimeric proteins with Tax2, we found that amino acids 225-232 of Tax1, the Tax1(225-232) region, was essential for the activation of NF-κB2 as well as for the high transforming activity. The strict amino acid conservation of Tax1(225-232) among HTLV-1 and simian T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (STLV-1), but not HTLV-2 and STLV-2, indicates that function(s) through the Tax1(225-232) region are biologically significant. Interestingly, another HTLV-1 relative, HTLV-3, has a PBM, but does not conserve the Tax1(225-232) motif in Tax3, thus indicating that these two motifs classify the three HTLVs into the separate groups.
These results suggest that the combinatory functions through Tax1(225-232) and PBM play crucial roles in the distinct biological properties of the three HTLVs, perhaps also including their pathogenesis.
Paraneoplastic syndromes of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are not uncommon. However, the prognosis is poor and follow-up and improvement of paraneoplastic syndromes with treatment have been reported rarely. We report a successful case in an aged man of a massive HCC with paraneoplastic syndrome, treated by combined intraarterial chemotherapy and hepatic resection. Paraneoplastic syndrome (erythrocytosis and hyperlipidemia) was monitored throughout the treatment and erythropoietin (EPO) mRNA also was analyzed in the resected liver. The hemoglobin level and serum levels of EPO and total cholesterol (T-cho) decreased dramatically with treatment, along with a decrease in serum levels of α-fetoprotein and protein induced by vitamin vitamin K absence II (PIVKA-II). Semiquantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) revealed that the residual cancer expressed EPO RNA but the nontumor tissue did not. This was a rare case of paraneoplastic syndrome of HCC that was treated successfully. This case indicates that paraneoplastic syndrome reflected tumor progression and that serum levels of both EPO and T-cho might be used as tumor markers.
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Paraneoplastic syndrome; Erythrocytosis; Hyperlipidemia
AIM: To characterize the clinical features of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) associated with autoimmune liver disease, we critically evaluated the literature on HCC associated with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) and primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC).
METHODS: A systematic review of the literature was conducted using the Japana Centra Revuo Medicina database which produced 38 cases of HCC with AIH (AIH-series) and 50 cases of HCC with PBC (PBC-series). We compared the clinical features of these two sets of patients with the general Japanese HCC population.
RESULTS: On average, HCC was more common in men than in women with AIH or PBC. While many patients underwent chemolipiodolization (CL) or transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE) (AIH-series: P = 0.048 (vs operation), P = 0.018 (vs RFA, PEIT); PBC-series: P = 0.027 (vs RFA, PEIT), others refused therapeutic interventions [AIH-series: P = 0.038 (vs RFA, PEIT); PBC-series: P = 0.003 (vs RFA, PEIT)]. Liver failure was the primary cause of death among patients in this study, followed by tumor rupture. The survival interval between diagnosis and death was fairly short, averaging 14 ± 12 mo in AIH patients and 8.4 ± 14 mo in PBC patients.
CONCLUSION: We demonstrated common clinical features among Japanese cases of HCC arising from AIH and PBC.
Autoimmune hepatitis; Autoimmune liver disease; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Literature review; Primary biliary cirrhosis
A case of de novo acute hepatitis B that showed symptoms of general malaise and anorexia during rituximab therapy with the CHOP regimen for diffuse large B cell lymphoma is reported. Lamivudine was strikingly effective, showing a rapid recovery from liver damage with jaundice. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA in serum became and stayed undetectable even after the withdrawal of lamivudine, although HBsAg remained positive over 42 months from the onset. Liver biopsy showed a picture suggestive of acute viral hepatitis with multinucleated giant hepatocytes and CD38-positive plasma cell infiltration into liver parenchyma. Immunohistochemically, CD3-positive T-cells were predominant cells that infiltrated in liver parenchyma, whereas CD20-positive B cells were essentially null. Hence, it is suggested from these findings that B lymphocytes might be crucial for the continuous latency in HBV infection and may give rise to de novo acute hepatitis B if totally deleted. Moreover, the CHOP regimen might have some additive effects with the repeated on–off use of corticosteroids to the onset of the disease. In addition, significance of plasma cell infiltration in this setting is discussed.
De novo acute hepatitis B; Rituximab; Lamivudine
To study the changes in serum ferritin levels in lamivudine (LAM)-treated patients with chronic hepatitis and liver cirrhosis type B and determine whether successful treatment with LAM results in a reduction of serum ferritin levels.
Thirty patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection were followed prospectively during their treatment with LAM for 12 months. Serum HBV DNA, ferritin levels, and emergence of YMDD mutants were monitored. A case of severe liver cirrhosis with hepatic hemosiderosis that was treated successfully with LAM also is shown as a representative case.
Serum alanine aminotransferase and ferritin levels decreased significantly more in the patients treated with LAM without YMDD mutants (n = 23) than those with mutants (n = 7). Hepatic hemosiderosis along with serum iron markers improved greatly in the representative patient.
Successful treatment with LAM may reduce serum ferritin levels and improve hepatic siderosis in a subset of patients with chronic HBV infection.
Lamivudine; Chronic hepatitis
; Liver cirrhosis
To date, only a limited number of studies have reported finding an influence of ordinary nutrients on hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA replication. However, the effects of other nutrients on HCV RNA replication remain largely unknown. We recently developed a reporter assay system for genome-length HCV RNA replication in hepatoma-derived HuH-7 cells (OR6). Here, using this OR6 assay system, we comprehensively examined 46 nutrients from four nutrient groups: vitamins, amino acids, fatty acids, and salts. We found that three nutrients—β-carotene, vitamin D2, and linoleic acid—inhibited HCV RNA replication and that their combination caused additive and/or synergistic effects on HCV RNA replication. In addition, combined treatment with each of the three nutrients and interferon alpha or beta or fluvastatin inhibited HCV RNA replication in an additive manner, while combined treatment with cyclosporine synergistically inhibited HCV RNA replication. In contrast, we found that vitamin E enhanced HCV RNA replication and negated the effects of the three anti-HCV nutrients and cyclosporine but not those of interferon or fluvastatin. These results will provide useful information for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C patients who also take anti-HCV nutrients as an adjunctive therapy in combination with interferon. In conclusion, among the ordinary nutrients tested, β-carotene, vitamin D2, and linoleic acid possessed anti-HCV activity in a cell culture system, and these nutrients are therefore considered to be potential candidates for enhancing the effects of interferon therapy.