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1.  Transcription factor ERG is a specific and sensitive diagnostic marker for hepatic angiosarcoma 
AIM: To investigate the expression of ERG, CD34, CD31 (PECAM-1, platelet/endothelial cell adhesion molecule 1) and factor VIII-related antigen (FVIIIRAg) in the diagnosis of hepatic angiosarcoma patients.
METHODS: Patient samples were collected from January 1986 to December 2012 from the People’s Liberation Army General Hospital in Beijing, China. We obtained twenty-four samples of hepatic angiosarcoma (HAS) that were confirmed by two pathologist. The samples were the result of three autopsy cases, eight biopsy cases and 13 patients who underwent surgical tumor removal. The HAS cases accounted for 2.23% (24/1075) of all hepatic vascular tumors at the hospital during the same time period. Patient histories including age, gender, clinical manifestations, medical treatments, laboratory tests, radiological images, histological observations and outcomes for each case were analyzed in detail. All samples were evaluated histologically with hematoxylin and eosin staining. Using immunohistochemistry, the expression and localization of ERG was examined in all HAS specimens and compared to the known endothelial markers CD34, CD31 and FVIIIRAg. The endothelial markers were also evaluated in a panel of non-HAS tumors.
RESULTS: This cohort of 24 HAS cases is, to the best of our knowledge, currently the largest cohort in the world in the publicly available literature. Hepatic angiosarcoma tissue samples were obtained from 14 males and 10 females with a mean age of 50.6 years (range: 7-86 years). The patients presented with the following clinical manifestations: abdominal pain (16/24), back pain (3/24), heart palpitations (1/20), cough (1/24) or no clinical symptoms (3/24). Tumors were predominantly localized in the right hepatic lobe (15/24) or left hepatic lobe (6/24), or a diffuse growth on the right and left hepatic lobes (3/24). Eleven patients underwent surgical resection (45.8%), two patients received a liver transplant (8.3%), eight patients received interventional therapy (33.3%) and three patients received no treatment (lesions discovered at autopsy, 12.5%). Postoperative follow-up of patients revealed that 87.5% (21/24) of patients had died and three cases were not able to be tracked. In all cases, the mean survival time was 12.1 mo. While 100% of the HAS samples were positive for ERG expression, expression of the other markers was more variable. CD31 was expressed in 79.2% (19/24) of samples, CD34 was expressed in 87.5% (21/24) of samples and FVIIIRAg was expressed in 41.7% (10/24) of samples.
CONCLUSION: ERG is a more sensitive and specific diagnostic marker for hepatic angiosarcoma in comparison to CD31, CD34 and FVIIIRAg.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v20.i13.3672
PMCID: PMC3974537
Liver; Angiosarcoma; ERG; Immunohistochemistry; Diagnosis
2.  Pseudomyxoma peritonei of 92 Chinese patients: Clinical characteristics, pathological classification and prognostic factors 
AIM: To assess the clinicopathologic features and its relationship with prognosis of pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) in Chinese patients.
METHODS: The clinicopathologic features and follow-up data of 92 patients with PMP were reviewed and retrospectively analyzed. The cases were categorized into three groups: disseminated peritoneal adenomucinosis (DPAM), peritoneal mucinous carcinomatosis (PMCA), and peritoneal mucinous carcinomatosis with intermediate or discordant features (PMCA-I/D). The log-rank test was used to analyze survival for each group and various clinicopathological parameters. Multivariate Cox proportional-hazard models were constructed to determine the important factors associated with survival.
RESULTS: The median age at diagnosis was 51.9 years (range: 22-76 years). The median follow up was 124 mo. The 3-, 5- and 10-year survival rates were 74.0%, 67.4% and 49.1%, respectively. There were 49 (53.2%) patients with DPAM, 26 (28.3%) with PMCA-I and 17 (18.5%) with PMCA. Patients with DPAM, PMCA-I/D and PMCA exhibited statistically significant difference in survival (P = 0.001). The 3 year survival for DPAM, PMCAI/D and PMCA was 97.0%, 80.0% and 67.0%, respectively; the 5 year survival was 80.0%, 67.0% and 50.0%, respectively; and the 10 year survival was 65.0%, 28.0% and 14.0%, respectively. Survival rate was significantly lowest in patients < 40 age years of age (P = 0.011). Appendiceal tumor and extra-ovarian parenchymal organ involvement were significantly related to overall survival. Patients with appendiceal mucinous adenocarcinoma (MACA) showed the significantly poorer prognosis (P = 0.011). Multivariate analysis showed that pathological classification, age, appendiceal tumor were significant related to overall survival.
CONCLUSION: The clinical process “PMP” should be pathologically classified into DPAM, PMCA and PMCA-I/D. Pathological classification, age, appendiceal MACA are survival independent predictors in Chinese patients with PMP.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v18.i24.3081
PMCID: PMC3386321  PMID: 22791943
Pseudomyxoma peritonei; Pathologic; Clinical; Classification; Prognosis
3.  Histological origin of pseudomyxoma peritonei in Chinese women: Clinicopathology and immunohistochemistry 
AIM: To investigate the histological origin of pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) in Chinese women.
METHODS: The clinical and pathological data were reviewed for 35 women with PMP, and specimens of the peritoneal, appendiceal and ovarian lesions of each patient were examined using the PV-6000 immunohistochemistry method. Antibodies included cytokeratin (CK)7, CK20, mucin (MUC)-1, MUC-2, carbohydrate antigen (CA)-125, estrogen receptor (ER), and progesterone receptor (PR).
RESULTS: Abundant colloidal mucinous tumors were observed in the peritoneum in all 35 cases. Thirty-one patients had a history of appendectomy, 28 of whom had mucinous lesions. There was one patient with appendicitis, one whose appendix showed no apparent pathological changes, and one with unknown surgical pathology. Ovarian mucinous tumors were found in 24 patients. The tumors were bilateral in 13 patients, on the right-side in nine, and on the left side in two. Twenty patients had combined appendiceal and ovarian lesions; 16 of whom had undergone initial surgery for appendiceal lesions. Four patients had undergone initial surgery for ovarian lesions, and relapse occurred in these patients at 1, 11, 32 and 85 mo after initial surgery. Appendiceal mucinous tumors were found in each of these four patients. Thirty-three of the 35 patients showed peritoneal lesions that were positive for CK20 and MUC-2, but negative for CK7, MUC-1, CA125, ER and PR. The expression patterns in the appendix and the ovary were similar to those of the peritoneal lesions. In one of the remaining two cases, CK20, CK7 and MUC-2 were positive, and MUC-1, CA125, ER and PR were negative. The ovaries were not resected. The appendix of one patient was removed at another hospital, and no specimen was evaluated. In the other case, the appendix appeared to be normal during surgery, and was not resected. Peritoneal and ovarian lesions were negative for CK20, MUC-2, CK7, MUC-1, CA125, ER and PR.
CONCLUSION: Most PMP originated from the appendix. Among women with PMP, the ovarian tumors were implanted rather than primary. For patients with PMP, appendectomy should be performed routinely. The ovaries, especially the right ovaries should be explored.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v17.i30.3531
PMCID: PMC3163252  PMID: 21941421
Pseudomyxoma peritonei; Peritoneum; Tumor origin; Ovary; Appendix; Immunohistochemistry
4.  Chloroquine Promotes the Anticancer Effect of TACE in a Rabbit VX2 Liver Tumor Model 
Background: To investigate the efficacy of TACE combined with CQ, an autophagic inhibitor, in a rabbit VX2 liver tumor model.
Methods: Tumor size was measured. And tumor growth rate was calculated to examine the effect of the combined treatment. Apoptosis was detected by TUNEL assay. Meanwhile, autophagic activity was detected by immunohistochemistry and Western blotting to investigate the mechanism underlying. Liver function was also examined to assess feasibility and safety of the combined therapy.
Results: Tumors in the control grew more than 4 times bigger after 14 days, while that in the group of TACE alone just showed mild growth. But a slight shrinkage was shown after the treatment of CQ+TACE. Growth ratio of TACE alone was 96.45% ± 28.958% while that of CQ+TACE was -28.73% ± 12.265%. Compared with TACE alone, necrosis in CQ+TACE showed no significant difference, however, the apoptosis was much higher. There were only 14.8±3.11% apoptotic cells in TACE, but 33±4.18% in CQ+TACE, which suggests the increased apoptosis in CQ+TACE contributed to the decrease of tumor volume. In terms of autophagic activity, the result is negative when we immunostained sections of the control with LC3 antibody, but positive in TACE alone and CQ+TACE. And the result of Western blot showed that there was just a low level of LC3Ⅱexpressed in the control and CQ alone, but higher in TACE, and much higher in CQ+TACE because CQ inhibited its degradation in autophagy. Compared with control, p62 decreased in TACE, but the decrease was partially reversed in CQ+TACE. In addition, toxicity of CQ+TACE was assessed not higher than TACE alone, which supports the safety of CQ+TACE.
Conclusion: CQ+TACE works better than TACE alone in rabbit VX2 liver tumor model because CQ inhibits autophagy induced by TACE. The inhibited autophagy loses its resistance to apoptosis that apoptosis increased, which contributes to the inhibition of tumor growth. This study indicates CQ may be a promising adjuvant to promote the effect of TACE.
doi:10.7150/ijbs.5925
PMCID: PMC3619094  PMID: 23569437
Hepatocellular carcinoma; transcatheter arterial chemoembolization; chloroquine; apoptosis; autophagy.
5.  Inhibition of autophagy enhances anticancer effects of bevacizumab in hepatocarcinoma 
Angiogenesis inhibitors have long been considered desirable anticancer agents. However, it was found that many tumors could develop resistance to antiangiogenesis inhibitors. Antiangiogenic therapy results in metabolic stress. Autophagy is an important survival mechanism in cancer cells under metabolic stress; however, it remains unknown if autophagy contributes to antiangiogenesis resistance. In this study, we reported that bevacizumab treatment reduced the development of new blood vessels and inhibited cell growth in xenografts of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tumors. Bevacizumab treatment also upregulated expression of the autophagy-related genes (Beclin1 and LC3) and increased autophagosome formation. Our in vitro studies demonstrated that autophagy inhibition significantly increased apoptosis of HCC cells during nutrient starvation or hypoxia. In addition, the combined treatment of an autophagy inhibitor and bevacizumab markedly inhibited the tumor growth of HCC xenografts, led to enhanced apoptosis, and impaired the proliferation of tumor cells compared with treatment with either drug alone. Furthermore, autophagy inhibition led to enhanced reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation in HCC cells exposed to nutrient starvation or hypoxia in vitro and increased DNA oxidative damage in vivo. Antioxidants reduced nutrient starvation or the hypoxia-induced cell death of HCC cells after autophagy inhibition. Our results suggest that autophagy modulates ROS generation and contributes to cell survival under metabolic stress. Therefore, autophagy inhibition may be a novel way of increasing the efficicacy of antiangiogenic agents in the treatment of HCC.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00109-012-0966-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s00109-012-0966-0
PMCID: PMC3611041  PMID: 23052483
Hepatocarcinoma; Antiangiogenesis; Autophagy; Metabolic stress; Apoptosis
6.  Diagnosis of gastric intraepithelial neoplasia by narrow-band imaging and confocal laser endomicroscopy 
AIM: To evaluate the diagnosis of different differentiated gastric intraepithelial neoplasia (IN) by magnification endoscopy combined with narrow-band imaging (ME-NBI) and confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE).
METHODS: Eligible patients with suspected gastric IN lesions previously diagnosed by endoscopy in secondary hospitals and scheduled for further diagnosis and treatment were recruited for this study. Excluded from the study were patients who had liver cirrhosis, impaired renal function, acute gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, coagulopathy, esophageal varices, jaundice, and GI post-surgery. Also excluded were those who were pregnant, breastfeeding, were younger than 18 years old, or were unable to provide informed consent. All patients had all mucus and bile cleared from their stomachs. They then received upper GI endoscopy. When a mucosal lesion is found during observation with white-light imaging, the lesion is visualized using maximal magnification, employing gradual movement of the tip of the endoscope to bring the image into focus. Saved images are analyzed. Confocal images were evaluated by two endoscopists (Huang J and Li MY), who were familiar with CLE, blinded to the related information about the lesions, and asked to classify each lesion as either a low grade dysplasia (LGD) or high grade dysplasia (HGD) according to given criteria. The results were compared with the final histopathologic diagnosis. ME-NBI images were evaluated by two endoscopists (Lu ZS and Ling-Hu EQ) who were familiar with NBI, blinded to the related information about the lesions and CLE images, and were asked to classify each lesion as a LGD or HGD according to the “microvascular pattern and surface pattern” classification system. The results were compared with the final histopathologic diagnosis.
RESULTS: The study included 32 pathology-proven low grade gastric IN and 26 pathology-proven high grade gastric IN that were detected with any of the modalities. CLE and ME-NBI enabled clear visualization of the vascular microsurface patterns and microvascular structures of the gastric mucosa. The accuracy of the CLE and the ME-NBI diagnosis was 88% (95% CI: 78%-98%) and 81% (95% CI: 69%-93%), respectively. The kappa coefficient of agreement between the histopathology and the in vivo CLE imaging was 0.755; between the histopathology and the in vivo CLE imaging was 0.615. McNemar’s test (binomial distribution used) indicated that the agreement was significant (P < 0.05). When patients were diagnosed by ME-NBI with CLE, the overall accuracy of the diagnosis was 86.21% (95% CI: 73%-96%), and the kappa coefficient of agreement was 0.713, according to McNemar’s test (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Higher diagnostic accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of CLE over ME-NBI indicate the feasibility of these two techniques for the efficacious diagnostic classification of gastric IN.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v18.i34.4771
PMCID: PMC3442217  PMID: 23002348
Gastric intraepithelial neoplasia; Histological diagnosis; Confocal laser endomicroscopy; Magnification endoscopy; Narrow-band imaging; Gastric intraepithelial neoplasia lesion
7.  Anti-tumor effect of 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine by inhibiting telomerase activity in hepatocellular carcinoma cells 
AIM: To investigate the effect of the demethylating reagent 5-aza-2’-deoxycitidine (DAC) on telomerase activity in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell lines, SMMC-7721 and HepG2.
METHODS: The related gene expression in cell lines was examined by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting analysis. The telomerase activity was examined by telomeric repeat amplification protocol-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and DNA methylation was determined by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction.
RESULTS: The telomerase activity was significantly reduced in both cell lines treated with DAC, accompanied by downregulation of telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT). We also observed the effect of DAC on the methylation status of hTERT promoter and the expression of regulatory genes, such as c-myc, p15, p16, p21, E2F1, and WT1. The methylation status of hTERT promoter could be reversed in SMMC-7721 by DAC, but not in HepG2 cells. However, p16 expression could be reactivated by demethylation of its promoter, and c-Myc expression was repressed in both cell lines. Moreover, DAC could enhance the sensitivity to the chemotherapeutic agents, such as cisplatin, by induction of apoptosis of HCC cells.
CONCLUSION: The DAC exerts its anti-tumor effects in HCC cells by inhibiting the telomerase activity.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v18.i19.2334
PMCID: PMC3353367  PMID: 22654424
5-aza-2’-deoxycitidine; Telomerase; Hepatocellular carcinoma; DNA methylation
8.  Clinicopathological features of atypical lipomatous tumors of the laryngopharynx 
Atypical lipomatous tumor (ALT) of the laryngopharynx is rare. Here we report five cases to demonstrate their clinicopathological features. The patients were four males and one female, aged 41 to 69 years (median 53.6 years). All tumors (two in the hypopharynx and three in the larynx) presented as a slowly growing, painless mass. Symptoms included dysphagia (2/5), dysphonia (3/5), and the feeling of a foreign body in the throat (5/5). Tumors were well circumscribed or focally infiltrative, ranging from 2.0 to 5.0 cm (median, 3.4 cm) in size, and microscopically showed the typical features of lipoma-like ALT. Immunohistochemically, tumor cells were stained with S-100, vimentin, murine double minute 2 (MDM-2), and cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4). Two patients had local tumor recurrences at 6 and 14 months after initial surgery during follow-up. ALT of laryngopharynx is an indolent tumor. Immunohistochemical staining for MDM-2 and CDK4 is helpful in pathological diagnosis.
doi:10.1631/jzus.B1000164
PMCID: PMC2997399  PMID: 21121069
Atypical lipomatous tumor (ALT); Laryngopharynx; Immunohistochemistry
9.  Inhibition of tumor necrosis factor alpha reduces the outgrowth of hepatic micrometastasis of colorectal tumors in a mouse model of liver ischemia-reperfusion injury 
Background
Patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) often develop liver metastases, in which case surgery is considered the only potentially curative treatment option. However, liver surgery is associated with a risk of ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury, which is thought to promote the growth of colorectal liver metastases. The influence of IR-induced tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) elevation in the process still is unknown. To investigate the role of TNF-α in the growth of pre-existing micrometastases in the liver following IR, we used a mouse model of colorectal liver metastases. In this model, mice received IR treatment seven days after intrasplenic injections of colorectal CT26 cells. Prior to IR treatment, either TNF-α blocker Enbrel or low-dose TNF-α, which could inhibit IR-induced TNF-α elevation, was administered by intraperitoneal injection.
Results
Hepatic IR treatment significantly promoted CT26 tumor growth in the liver, but either Enbrel or low-dose TNF-α pretreatment reversed this trend. Further studies showed that the CT26 + IR group prominently increased the levels of ALT and AST, liver necrosis, inflammatory infiltration and the expressions of hepatic IL-6, MMP9 and E-selectin compared to those of CT26 group. Inhibition of TNF-α elevation remarkably attenuated the increases of these liver inflammatory damage indicators and tumor-promoting factors.
Conclusion
These findings suggested that inhibition of TNF-α elevation delayed the IR-enhanced outgrowth of colorectal liver metastases by reducing IR-induced inflammatory damage and the formation of tumor-promoting microenvironments. Both Enbrel and low-dose TNF-α represented the potential therapeutic approaches for the protection of colorectal liver metastatic patients against IR injury-induced growth of liver micrometastases foci.
doi:10.1186/1423-0127-21-1
PMCID: PMC3902418  PMID: 24397824
Colorectal cancer; Liver metastases; Ischemia-reperfusion; TNF-α; Enbrel
10.  Toll-like receptor 4 signaling promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition in human hepatocellular carcinoma induced by lipopolysaccharide 
BMC Medicine  2012;10:98.
Background
The endotoxin level in the portal and peripheral veins of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients is higher and lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a cell wall constituent of gram-negative bacteria, has been reported to inhibit tumor growth. However, in this study, we found that LPS-induced toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) signaling was involved in tumor invasion and survival, and the molecular mechanism was investigated,
Methods
Four HCC cell lines and a splenic vein metastasis of the nude mouse model were used to study the invasion ability of LPS-induced HCC cells and the epithelia-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in vitro and in vivo. A total of 106 clinical samples from HCC patients were used to evaluate TLR4 expression and analyze its association with clinicopathological characteristics
Results
The in vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrated that LPS could significantly enhance the invasive potential and induce EMT in HCC cells with TLR4 dependent. Further studies showed that LPS could directly activate nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) signaling through TLR4 in HCC cells. Interestingly, blocking NF-κB signaling significantly inhibited transcription factor Snail expression and thereby inhibited EMT occurrence. High expression of TLR4 in HCC tissues was strongly associated with both poor cancer-free survival and overall survival in patients.
Conclusions
Our results indicate that TLR4 signaling is required for LPS-induced EMT, tumor cell invasion and metastasis, which provide molecular insights for LPS-related pathogenesis and a basis for developing new strategies against metastasis in HCC.
doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-98
PMCID: PMC3482562  PMID: 22938142
Toll-like receptor 4; Epithelial-mesenchymal transition; Lipopolysaccharide; Human hepatocellular carcinoma
11.  CD133+CXCR4+ colon cancer cells exhibit metastatic potential and predict poor prognosis of patients 
BMC Medicine  2012;10:85.
Background
Colorectal cancer (CRC), which frequently metastasizes to the liver, is one of the three leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Growing evidence suggests that a subset of cells exists among cancer stem cells. This distinct subpopulation is thought to contribute to liver metastasis; however, it has not been fully explored in CRC yet.
Methods
Flow cytometry analysis was performed to detect distinct subsets with CD133 and CXCR4 markers in human primary and metastatic CRC tissues. The 'stemness' and metastatic capacities of different subpopulations derived from the colon cancer cell line HCT116 were compared in vitro and in vivo. The roles of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and stromal-cell derived factor-1 (SDF-1) in the metastatic process were also investigated. A survival curve was used to explore the correlation between the content of CD133+CXCR4+ cancer cells and patient survival.
Results
In human specimens, the content of CD133+CXCR4+ cells was higher in liver metastases than in primary colorectal tumors. Clonogenic and tumorigenic cells were restricted to CD133+ cells in the HCT116 cell line, with CXCR4 expression having no impact on the 'stemness' properties. We found that CD133+CXCR4+ cancer cells had a high metastatic capacity in vitro and in vivo. Compared with CD133+CXCR4- cells, CD133+CXCR4+ cancer cells experienced EMT, which contributed partly to their metastatic phenotype. We then determined that SDF-1/CXCL12 treatment could further induce EMT in CD133+CXCR4+ cancer cells and enhance their invasive behavior, while this could not be observed in CD133+CXCR4- cancer cells. Blocking SDF-1/CXCR4 interaction with a CXCR4 antagonist, AMD3100 (1,10-[1,4-phenylenebis(methylene)]bis-1,4,8,11 -tetraazacyclotetradecane octahydrochloride), inhibited metastatic tumor growth in a mouse hepatic metastasis model. Finally, a high percentage of CD133+CXCR4+ cells in human primary CRC was associated with a reduced two-year survival rate.
Conclusions
Strategies targeting the SDF-1/CXCR4 interaction may have important clinical applications in the suppression of colon cancer metastasis. Further investigations on how high expression of CXCR4 and EMT occur in this identified cancer stem cell subset are warranted to provide insights into our understanding of tumor biology.
doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-85
PMCID: PMC3424958  PMID: 22871210
colorectal cancer; cancer stem cell; CXCR4; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; liver metastasis

Results 1-11 (11)