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1.  Concomitant lung metastasis in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma 
AIM: To investigate the clinical features and prognostic factors of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients presenting with lung metastasis at initial diagnosis.
METHODS: Between 2001 and 2010, we recruited 76 consecutive HCC patients initially presenting with lung metastasis, without co-existing metastasis from other sites. These patients were divided into three groups: untreated group (n = 22), single treatment group (n = 19), and combined treatment group (n = 35).
RESULTS: Metastasis of bilateral lung lobes was common and noted in 35 patients (46.1%), and most of patients (59/76, 77.6%) presented with multiple lung metastatic nodules. Nineteen patients (25.0%) received single-method treatment, including hepatectomy in 4, transcatheter arterial chemoembolization in 6, radiotherapy in 5, and oral sorafenib in 4. Thirty-five patients (46.1%) received combined treatment modalities. The overall median survival of the all patients was 8.7 ± 0.6 mo; 4.1 ± 0.3, 6.3 ± 2.5 and 18.6 ± 3.9 mo, respectively in the untreated group, single treatment group and combined treatment group, respectively, with a significant difference (log-rank test, P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis revealed that Child-Pugh score, the absence or presence of portal vein tumor thrombus, and treatment modality were three independent prognostic factors affecting survival of patients with advanced HCC and concomitant lung metastasis.
CONCLUSION: Combined treatment modalities tend to result in a better survival as compared with the conservative treatment or single treatment modality for HCC patients initially presenting with lung metastasis.
PMCID: PMC3360452  PMID: 22654451
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Lung metastasis; Prognosis; Survival; Prognostic factor
2.  Inhibition of autophagy significantly enhances combination therapy with sorafenib and HDAC inhibitors for human hepatoma cells 
AIM: To clarify whether histone deacetylase inhibitors histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs) can sensitize hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells to sorafenib treatment.
METHODS: Bax, Bcl-2, ATG5-ATG12, p21, and p27 protein levels in Hep3B, HepG2, and PLC/PRF/5 cells were examined by Western blot. CCK8 and a fluorometric caspase-3 assay were used to examine cellular viability and apoptosis levels. The effect of Beclin-1 on sensitization of HCC cells to sorafenib was examined by transfecting Beclin-1 siRNA into Hep3B, HepG2, and PLC/PRF/5 cells.
RESULTS: Autophagy inhibition enhances the inhibitory effects of vorinostat and sorafenib alone or in combination on HCC cell growth. Vorinostat and sorafenib synergistically induced apoptosis and cell cycle alterations. Western blot data indicated that HDACIs and Beclin-1 knockdown increased the p53 acetylation level. The knockdown of Beclin-1 enhanced the synergistic effect of the combination of vorinostat with sorafenib.
CONCLUSION: HDACIs can sensitize HCC cells to sorafenib treatment by regulating the acetylation level of Beclin-1.
PMCID: PMC4009527  PMID: 24833845
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Histone deacetylase inhibitors; Autophagy; Sorafenib; Chemoresistance
3.  Predictors and clinical outcomes for spontaneous rupture of hepatocellular carcinoma 
AIM: To determine the risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) rupture, and report the management and long-term survival results of patients with spontaneous rupture of HCC.
METHODS: Among 4209 patients with HCC who were diagnosed at Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital from April 2002 to November 2006, 200 (4.8%) patients with ruptured HCC (case group) were studied retrospectively in term of their clinical characteristics and prognostic factors. The one-stage therapeutic approach to manage ruptured HCC consisted of initial management by conservative treatment, transarterial embolization (TACE) or hepatic resection. Results of various treatments in the case group were evaluated and compared with the control group (202 patients) without ruptured HCC during the same study period. Continuous data were expressed as mean ± SD or median (range) where appropriate and compared using the unpaired t test. Categorical variables were compared using the Chi-square test with Yates correction or the Fisher exact test where appropriate. The overall survival rate in each group was determined using the Kaplan-Meier method and a log-rank test.
RESULTS: Compared with the control group, more patients in the case group had underlying diseases of hypertension (7.5% vs 3.0%, P =0.041) and liver cirrhosis (87.5% vs 56.4%, P < 0.001), tumor size >5 cm (83.0% vs 57.4%, P < 0.001), tumor protrusion from the liver surface (66.0% vs 44.6%, P < 0.001), vascular thrombus (30.5% vs 8.9%, P < 0.001) and extrahepatic invasion (36.5% vs 12.4%, P < 0.001). On multivariate logistic regression analysis, underlying diseases of hypertension (P = 0.002) and liver cirrhosis (P < 0.001), tumor size > 5 cm (P < 0.001), vascular thrombus (P = 0.002) and extrahepatic invasion (P < 0.001) were predictive for spontaneous rupture of HCC. Among the 200 patients with spontaneous rupture of HCC, 105 patients underwent hepatic resection, 33 received TACE, and 62 were managed with conservative treatment. The median survival time (MST) of all patients with spontaneous rupture of HCC was 6 mo (range, 1-72 mo), and the overall survival at 1, 3 and 5 years were 32.5%, 10% and 4%, respectively. The MST was 12 mo (range, 1-72 mo) in the surgical group, 4 mo (range, 1-30 mo) in the TACE group and 1 mo (range, 1-19 mo) in the conservative group. Ninety-eight patients in the control group underwent hepatic resection, and the MST and median disease-free survival time were 46 mo (range, 6-93 mo) and 23 mo (range, 3-39 mo) respectively, which were much longer than that of patients with spontaneous rupture of HCC undergoing hepatic resection (P < 0.001). The 1-, 3-, and 5-year overall survival rates and the 1-, 3- and 5-year disease-free survival rates in patients with ruptured HCC undergoing hepatectomy were 57.1%, 19.0% and 7.6%, 27.6%, 14.3% and 3.8%, respectively, compared with those of 77.1%, 59.8% and 41.2%, 57.1%, 40.6% and 32.9% in 98 patients without ruptured HCC undergoing hepatectomy (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Prolonged survival can be achieved in selected patients undergoing one-stage hepatectomy, although the survival results were inferior to those of the patients without ruptured HCC.
PMCID: PMC3544034  PMID: 23326137
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Spontaneous rupture; Predictors; Hepatectomy; Overall survival; Disease-free survival
4.  Prealbumin is predictive for postoperative liver insufficiency in patients undergoing liver resection 
AIM: To investigate the risk factors for postoperative liver insufficiency in patients with Child-Pugh class A liver function undergoing liver resection.
METHODS: A total of 427 consecutive patients undergoing partial hepatectomy from October 2007 to April 2011 at a single center (Department of Hepatic SurgeryI, Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital, Shanghai, China) were included in the study. All the patients had preoperative liver function of Child-Pugh class A and were diagnosed as having primary liver cancer by postoperative histopathology. Surgery was performed by the same team and hepatic resection was carried out by a clamp crushing method. A clamp/unclamp time of 15 min/5 min was adopted for hepatic inflow occlusion. Patients’ records of demographic variables, intraoperative parameters, pathological findings and laboratory test results were reviewed. Postoperative liver insufficiency and failure were defined as prolonged hyperbilirubinemia unrelated to biliary obstruction or leak, clinically apparent ascites, prolonged coagulopathy requiring frozen fresh plasma, and/or hepatic encephalopathy. The incidence of postoperative liver insufficiency or liver failure was observed and the attributing risk factors were analyzed. A multivariate analysis was conducted to determine the independent predictive factors.
RESULTS: Among the 427 patients, there were 362 males and 65 females, with a mean age of 51.1 ± 10.4 years. Most patients (86.4%) had a background of viral hepatitis and 234 (54.8%) patients had liver cirrhosis. Indications for partial hepatectomy included hepatocellular carcinoma (391 patients), intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (31 patients) and a combination of both (5 patients). Hepatic resections of ≤ 3 and ≥ 4 liver segments were performed in 358 (83.8%) and 69 (16.2%) patients, respectively. Seventeen (4.0%) patients developed liver insufficiency after hepatectomy, of whom 10 patients manifested as prolonged hyperbilirubinemia unrelated to biliary obstruction or leak, 6 patients had clinically apparent ascites and prolonged coagulopathy, 1 patient had hepatic encephalopathy and died on day 21 after surgery. On univariate analysis, age ≥ 60 years and prealbumin < 170 mg/dL were found to be significantly correlated with postoperative liver insufficiency (P = 0.045 and P = 0.009, respectively). There was no statistical difference in postoperative liver insufficiency between patients with or without hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and esophagogastric varices. Intraoperative parameters (type of resection, inflow blood occlusion time, blood loss and blood transfusion) and laboratory test results were not associated with postoperative liver insufficiency either. Age ≥ 60 years and prealbumin < 170 mg/dL were selected on multivariate analysis, and only prealbumin < 170 mg/dL remained predictive (hazard ratio, 3.192; 95%CI: 1.185-8.601, P = 0.022).
CONCLUSION: Prealbumin serum level is a predictive factor for postoperative liver insufficiency in patients with liver function of Child-Pugh class A undergoing hepatectomy. Since prealbumin is a good marker of nutritional status, the improved nutritional status may decrease the incidence of liver insufficiency.
PMCID: PMC3531689  PMID: 23323003
Prealbumin; Hepatectomy; Liver insufficiency; Child-Pugh class A; Primary liver cancer
5.  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.
PMCID: PMC3353367  PMID: 22654424
5-aza-2’-deoxycitidine; Telomerase; Hepatocellular carcinoma; DNA methylation
6.  Surgicopathological classification of hepatic space-occupying lesions: A single-center experience with literature review 
Accompanying rapid developments in hepatic surgery, the number of surgeries and identifications of histological types of primary hepatic space-occupying lesions (PHSOLs) have increased dramatically. This has led to many changes in the surgicopathological spectrum of PHSOLs, and has contributed to a theoretical basis for modern hepatic surgery and oncological pathology. Between 1982 and 2009 at the Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital (EHBH) in Shanghai, 31 901 patients underwent surgery and were diagnosed as having a PHSOL. In this paper, we present an analysis of the PHSOL cases at the EHBH for this time period, along with results from a systematic literature review. We describe a surgicopathological spectrum comprising more than 100 types of PHSOLs that can be stratified into three types: tumor-like, benign, and malignant. We also stratified the PHSOLs into six subtypes derived from hepatocytes; cholangiocytes; vascular, lymphoid and hemopoietic tissues; muscular, fibrous and adipose tissues; neural and neuroendocrine tissues; and miscellaneous tissues. The present study provides a new classification system that can be used as a current reference for clinicians and pathologists to make correct diagnoses and differential diagnoses among various PHSOLs.
PMCID: PMC3103789  PMID: 21633636
Liver tumors; Tumor-like lesions; Pathology; Immunohistochemistry; Classification
7.  Hepatitis B virus infection: A favorable prognostic factor for intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma after resection 
AIM: To study the prognostic factors for intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) and evaluate the impact of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection on survival rate of ICC patients.
METHODS: A total of 155 ICC patients who underwent macroscopic curative resections (R0 and R1) were enrolled in this retrospective study and divided into group A with HBV infection and group B without HBV infection according to their chronic HBV infection, represented by positive hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in serum or in liver tissue. Clinicopathological characteristics and survival rate of the patients were evaluated.
RESULTS: All patients underwent anatomical resection. Their 1- and 3-year survival rates were 60.6% and 32.1%, respectively. Multivariate analyses revealed that HBV infection, hepatolithiasis, microscopic satellite lesion, and lymphatic metastasis were the independent prognostic factors for the survival rate of ICC patients. The median disease-free survival time of the patients was 5.0 mo. The number of tumors, microscopic satellite lesion, and vascular invasion were the independent prognostic factors for the disease-free survival rate of the patients. The prognostic factors affecting the survival rate of ICC patients with HBV infection and those without HBV infection were not completely consistent. Alkaline phosphatase > 119 U/L, microscopic satellite lesion, vascular invasion, and lymphatic metastasis were the independent factors for the patients with HBV infection, while r-glutamyltransferase > 64 U/L, microscopic satellite lesion, and poor tumor differentiation were the independent factors for the patients without HBV infection.
CONCLUSION: HBV infection is a valuable clinical factor for predicting tumor invasiveness and clinical outcome of ICC patients. ICC patients with HBV infection should be distinguished from those without HBV infection because they have different clinicopathological characteristics, prognostic factors and outcomes after surgical resection.
PMCID: PMC3068264  PMID: 21455328
Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma; Hepatitis B virus; Survival; Prognosis
8.  Diagnosis and surgical treatment of primary hepatic lymphoma 
AIM: To assess the benefits and limits of surgery for primary hepatic lymphoma (PHL), and probability of survival after postoperative chemotherapy.
METHODS: A retrospective analysis was undertaken to determine the results of surgical treatment of PHL over the past 8 years. Only nine patients underwent such treatment. The detailed data of diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis were carefully studied.
RESULTS: All patients were mistaken as having α-fetoprotein-negative hepatic cancer before pathological diagnosis. The mean delay time between initial symptoms and final diagnosis was 26.8 d (range: 14-47 d). Hepatitis B virus infection was noted in 33.3% of these patients. Most of the lesions were found to be restricted to a solitary hepatic mass. The surgical procedure performed was left hepatectomy in five cases, including left lateral segmentectomy in three. Right hepatectomy was performed in three cases and combined procedures in one. One patient died on the eighth day after surgery, secondary to hepatic insufficiency. The cumulative 6-mo, 1-year, and 2-year survival rates after hepatic surgery were, respectively, 85.7%, 71.4%, and 47.6%. One patient survived for > 5 years after surgery without any signs of recurrence until latest follow-up, who received routine postoperative chemotherapy every month for 2 years and then regular follow-up. By univariate analysis, postoperative chemotherapy was a significant prognostic factor that influenced survival (P = 0.006).
CONCLUSION: PHL is a rare entity that is often misdiagnosed, and has a potential association with chronic hepatitis B infection. The prognosis is variable, with good response to early surgery combined with postoperative chemotherapy in strictly selected patients.
PMCID: PMC3007103  PMID: 21157979
Primary hepatic lymphoma; Diagnosis; Surgery; Survival
9.  Undifferentiated liver embryonal sarcoma in adults: A report of four cases and literature review 
AIM: To evaluate the undifferentiated embryonal sarcoma of liver (UESL) in adults in order to improve its diagnosis and treatment.
METHODS: Four primary and one recurrent cases of UESL were clinicopathologically evaluated and immunohistochemically investigated with a panel of antibodies using the EnVision+ system. Relevant literature about UESL in adults was reviewed.
RESULTS: Three males and one female were enrolled in this study. Their chief complaints were abdominal pain, weight loss, or fever. Laboratory tests, imaging and pathological features of UESL in adults were similar to those in children. Immunohistochemistry showed evidence of widely divergent differentiation into mesenchymal and epithelial phenotypes. The survival time of patients who underwent complete tumor resection followed by adjuvant transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) was significantly longer than that of those who underwent surgical treatment alone.
CONCLUSION: UESL in adults may undergo pluripotential differentiation and its diagnosis should be made based on its morphological and immunohistochemical features. Complete tumor resection after adjuvant TACE may improve the survival time of such patients.
PMCID: PMC2951525  PMID: 20872975
Undifferentiated embryonal sarcoma; Liver; Pluripotential differentiation; Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization; Adult
10.  Primary mixed germ cell tumor of the liver with sarcomatous components 
Germ cell tumor (GCT) of the liver is extremely rare. Here, we describe a case of hepatic mixed GCT with significant sarcomatous components and elevated serum α-fetoprotein (AFP) in a 34-year-old man. Histopathologically, the tumor was composed of two GCTs components: yolk sac tumor and immature teratoma. The predominant components of immature teratoma consisted of several types of tissue that represented different germinal layers (endoderm, mesoderm and ectoderm) and showed varying degrees of differentiation with significant sarcomatous components. The yolk sac component showed positivity for AFP and cytokeratin (AE1/AE3). The immature teratoma components showed positivity for varying differentiation markers. Interphase cytogenetic analysis revealed that the yolk sac tumor and immature teratoma were positive for i(12p) and 12p over-representation. In particular, the rhabdomyoblastic components also showed typical i(12p) and 12p overrepresentation. This suggested that sarcomatous components may be associated with dedifferentiation or malignant transformation of certain mesenchymal components within teratoma.
PMCID: PMC2816282  PMID: 20128038
Germ cell tumor; Teratoma; Sarcoma; Liver neoplasms
11.  Cerebral lipiodol embolism following transcatheter arterial chemoembolization for hepatocellular carcinoma 
Cerebral lipiodol embolism (CLE) is an extremely rare complication of transcatheter arterial chemoembolization for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The authors present a case of CLE that occurred after the second hepatic arterial chemoembolization for HCC, and attempt to introduce several plausible mechanisms of CLE, after reporting the clinical and radiological findings and reviewing the medical literature.
PMCID: PMC2807965  PMID: 20082490
Intracranial embolism; Lipiodol; Chemotherapeutic embolization; Hepatocellular carcinoma
12.  A special growth manner of intrahepatic biliary cystadenoma 
We report a case of a 56-year-old woman with intrahepatic biliary cystadenoma (IBC) accompanying a tumor embolus in the extrahepatic bile duct, who was admitted to our department on October 13, 2008. Imaging showed an asymmetry dilation of the biliary tree, different bile signals in the biliary tree, a multiloculated lesion and an extrahepatic bile duct lesion with internal septation. A regular left hemihepatectomy en bloc was performed with resection of the entire tumor, during which a tumor embolus protruding into the extrahepatic bile duct and originating from biliary duct of segment 4 was revealed. Microscopically, the multiloculated tumor was confirmed to be a biliary cystadenoma with an epithelial lining composed of biliary-type cuboidal cells and surrounded by an ovarian-like stroma. An aggressive en bloc resection was recommended for the multiloculated lesion. Imaging workup, clinicians and surgeons need to be aware of this different presentation.
PMCID: PMC2797675  PMID: 20027691
Intrahepatic biliary cystadenoma; Growth manner; Tumor embolus
13.  Treatment of massive pancreaticojejunal anastomotic hemorrhage after pancreatoduodenectomy 
AIM: To compare the treatment modalities for patients with massive pancreaticojejunal anastomotic hemorrhage after pancreatoduodenectomy (PDT).
METHODS: A retrospective study was undertaken to compare the outcomes of two major treatment modalities: transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE) and open surgical hemostasis. Seventeen patients with acute massive hemorrhage after PDT were recruited in this study. A comparison of two treatment modalities was based upon the clinicopathological characteristics and hospitalization stay, complications, and patient prognosis of the patients after surgery.
RESULTS: Of the 11 patients with massive hemorrhage after PDT treated with TAE, one died after discontinuing treatment, the other 10 stopped bleeding completely without recurrence of hemorrhage. All the 10 patients recovered well and were discharged, with a mean hospital stay of 10.45 d after hemostasis. The patients who underwent TAE had a re-operation rate of 18.2% and a mortality rate of 9.1%. Among the six patients who received open surgical hemostasis, two underwent another round of open surgical hemostasis. The mortality was 50%, and the recurrence of hemorrhage was 16.67%, with a mean hospital stay of 39.5 d.
CONCLUSION: TAE is a safe and effective treatment modality for patients with acute hemorrhage after PDT. Vasography should be performed to locate the bleeding site.
PMCID: PMC2669947  PMID: 19340906
Pancreatoduodenectomy; Massive hemorrhage; Transcatheter artery embolization; Complication; Treatment
14.  Reduced expression of E-cadherin/catenin complex in hepatocellular carcinomas 
AIM: To examine the immunoreactivity of E-cadherin and four subtypes of catenin family in human hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) and to investigate the correlation between expression of E-cadherin/catenin complex and clinicopathologic parameters of HCC patients.
METHODS: An immunohistochemical study for E-cadherin and catenins was performed on 97 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimens of HCC.
RESULTS: Reduced expression of E-cadherin, α-, β-, γ-catenin and p120 was observed in 69%, 76%, 63%, 71% and 73%, respectively. Both expressions of E-cadherin and catenin components were significantly correlated with tumor grade (P = 0.000). It showed significant difference between expression of catenin members and tumor stage (P = 0.003, P = 0.017, P = 0.007 and P = 0.000, respectively). The reduced expression of E-cadherin in HCCs was significantly correlated with intrahepatic metastasis (IM) and capsular invasion (P = 0.008, P = 0.03, respectively). A close correlation was also observed between the expression of catenins and the tumor size (P = 0.002, P = 0.034, P = 0.016 and P = 0.000, respectively). In addition, the expression of each catenin was found correlated with IM (P = 0.012, P = 0.049, P = 0.026 and P = 0.014, respectively). No statistically significant difference was observed between the expression level of E-cadherin/catenin complex and lymph node permission, vascular invasion and satellite nodules. Interestingly, only expression of p120 showed correlation with AFP value (P = 0.035). The expression of E-cadherin was consistent with α-, β-, γ-catenin and p120 expression (P = 0.000). Finally, the abnormal expression of E-cadherin/catenin complex was significantly associated with patients’ survival (P = 0.0253, P = 0.0052, P = 0.003, P = 0.0105 and P = 0.0016, respectively). Nevertheless, no component of E-cadherin/catenin complex was the independent prognostic factor of HCC patients.
CONCLUSION: Down-regulated expressions of E-cadherin, catenins and p120 occur frequently in HCCs and contribute to the progression and development of tumor. It may be more exact and valuable to detect the co-expression of E-cadherin/catenin complex than to explore one of them in predicting tumor invasion, metastasis and patient’s survival.
PMCID: PMC2748200  PMID: 18837082
E-cadherin; Hepatocellular carcinomas; Histologic feature; Survival
15.  Protective effect of prednisolone on ischemia-induced liver injury in rats 
AIM: To investigate the effects of prednisolone on cell membrane bleb formation, calpain μ activation and talin degradation during hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats.
METHODS: The hilar area of the left lateral and median lobes of rat liver (68%) was clamped for 60 min and followed by 120 min reperfusion. Prednisolone was administered at 1.0, 3.0, or 10 mg/kg at 30 min before ischemia. In addition to biochemical and microscopic analyses, activation of calpain μ was determined using specific antibodies against the intermediate (activated) form of calpain μ. Degradation of talin was also studied by Western blotting.
RESULTS: In the control and prednisolone (1.0 mg/kg) groups, serum aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT) level were elevated, and cell membrane bleb formation was observed after 120 min of reperfusion. Moreover, calpain μ activation and talin degradation were detected. Infusion of prednisolone at 3.0 or 10 mg/kg significantly suppressed serum AST and ALT, and prevented cell membrane bleb formation. At 10 mg/kg, prednisolone markedly suppressed calpain μ activation and talin degradation.
CONCLUSION: Prednisolone can suppress ischemia-reperfusion injury of the rat liver. Its cytoprotective effect is closely associated with the suppression of calpain μ activation and talin degradation.
PMCID: PMC2731184  PMID: 18666321
Ischemia-reperfusion; Prednisolone; Cell membrane bleb; Calpain μ; Talin
16.  Reduced expression of P120 catenin in cholangiocarcinoma correlated with tumor clinicopathologic parameters 
AIM: To investigate the relationship between the expression of P120 and the clinicopathologic parameters in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC).
METHODS: An immunohistochemical study of E-cadherin and P120 catenin was performed on 42 specimens of ICC with a Dako Envision kit.
RESULTS: The expression of E-cadherin and P120 was reduced in 27 cases (64.3%) and 31 cases (73.8%), respectively. Both E-cadherin and P120 expressions were significantly correlated with the tumor histological grade (χ2 = 9.333, P = 009 and χ2 = 11.71, P = 0.003), TNM stage (χ2= 8.627, P = 0.035 and χ2 = 13.123, P = 0.004), intrahepatic metastasis (χ2= 7.292, P = 0.007 and χ2 = 4.657, P = 0.041, respectively) and patients’ survival (χ2= 6.351, P = 0.002 and χ2 = 4.023, P = 0.000, respectively). In addition, the expression of P120 was in concordance with that of E-cadherin (χ2 = 13.797, P = 0.000), indicating that the expression of P120 may be dependent on that of E-cadherin. Finally, only P120 expression was found to be an independent prognostic factor in Cox regression model (r = 0.088, P = 0.049).
CONCLUSION: Down-regulated expression of E-cadherin and P120 occurs frequently in ICC and contributes to the progression and development of tumor. Both of them may be valuable biologic markers for predicting tumor invasion, metastasis and patients’ survival, but only P120 is an independent prognostic factor for ICC.
PMCID: PMC2719238  PMID: 18595142
P120; Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma; Clinicopathologic feature; Invasion and metastasis; Survival
17.  Precautions in caudate lobe resection: Report of 11 cases 
AIM: To find the precautions against the safety in caudate lobe resection.
METHODS: The clinical data obtained from 11 cases of primary liver cancer in caudate lobe who received hepatectomy successfully were retrospectively analyzed. Four safe procedures were used in resection of primary liver cancer in caudate lobe: (1) selection of appropriate skin incision to obtain excellent exposure of operative field; (2) adequate mobilization of the liver to allow the liver to be displaced upwards to the left or to the right; (3) preparatory placement of tapes for total hepatic vascular exclusion, so that this procedure could be used to control the fatal bleeding of the liver when necessary; (4) selection of the ideal route for hepatectomy based on the condition of the tumor and the combined removal of multiple lobes if necessary. Among the 11 cases, simple occlusion of vessels of porta hepatis was used in caudate lobectomy for 6 cases, while in the other cases, the vessels were intermittently occluded several times or total hepatic vascular isolation was used in the caudate lobectomy. Combined partial right hepatectomy was done for 3 cases, combined left lateral lobectomy for 2 cases and caudate lobectomy alone for 6 cases.
RESULTS: Operation was successful for all the 11 cases. Intermittent inflow occlusion was performed for all patients for 15 min at 5-min intervals. Blockade was performed twice in 3 patients and total hepatic vascular exclusion was performed in one of the three patients. Blockade was performed three times in one patient, including a total hepatic vascular exclusion. Total hepatic vascular exclusion was performed only in one patient. The mean blood loss was 300 mL. Ascites and pleural effusion occurred in 4 patients, jaundice in 1 patient. Six patients died of tumor recurrence in 6, 11, 12, 13, 15, 19 mo after operation, respectively. The other 5 patients have survived more than 16 mo since the operation.
CONCLUSION: Caudate lobectomy for liver cancer in candidate lobe can be safely performed with the above procedures.
PMCID: PMC2709046  PMID: 18461663
Caudate lobe; Primary liver cancer; Hepatectomy; Porta hepatis; Vascular exclusion
18.  The Outcome of Ipsilateral Hemihepatectomy in Mucin-Producing Bile Duct Tumors 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e92010.
Mucin-producing bile duct tumors (MPBTs) are unusual, and we present our experience with nine surgically proven cases.
Between November 2002 and November 2012, 9 patients with surgically proven MPBTs (including history of relevant hepatobiliary surgery in 6 patients) were encountered. Their clinical, imaging, and surgical findings were reviewed.
The most common symptom is intermittent jaundice, which occurs in seven patients. The diagnostic specificity was 77.8% by preoperative Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography (MRCP). All the patients underwent ipsilateral hemihepatectomy or remnant hemihepatectomy, accompanied caudate lobectomy in one case and concomitant Roux-en-Y choledochojejunostomy in four cases. Postoperative course was uneventful. One patient, who had intra-abdominal recurrence 59 months after surgery, was received reoperation without recurrence at the last follow-up. The remaining eight patients were alive without disease recurrence.
Based on our follow up of 9 cases that were surgically treated for MPBTs, we conclude that ipsilateral hemihepatectomy is a safe surgical procedure with an observed recurrence risk of 11.1% and all long-term survival.
PMCID: PMC3984073  PMID: 24727803
19.  A novel panel of biomarkers in distinction of small well-differentiated HCC from dysplastic nodules and outcome values 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:161.
Differential diagnosis of high-grade dysplastic nodules (HGDN) and well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma (WDHCC) represents a challenge to experienced hepatic clinicians, radiologists and hepatopathologists.
The expression profiles of aminoacylase-1 (ACY1), sequestosome-1 (SQSTM1) and glypican-3 (GPC3) in low-grade dysplastic nodules (LGDN), HGDN and WDHCC were assessed by immunohistochemistry. The differential diagnostic performances of these three markers alone and in combination for HGDN and WDHCC were investigated by logistic regression models (HGDN = 21; WDHCC = 32) and validated in an independent test set (HGDN, n = 21; WDHCC n = 24). Postoperative overall survival and time to recurrence were evaluated by univariate and multivariate analyses in an independent set of 500 patients.
ACY1, SQSTM1 and GPC3 were differentially expressed in each group. For the differential diagnosis of WDHCC from HGDN, the sensitivity and specificity of the combination of ACY1 + SQSTM1 + GPC3 for detecting WDHCC were 93.8% and 95.2% respectively in the training set, which were higher than any of the three two-marker combinations. The validities of the four diagnostic models were further confirmed in an independent test set, and corresponding good sensitivity and specificity were observed. Interestingly, GPC3 expression in HCC tissues combined with serum α-fetoprotein (AFP) was found to be an independent predictor for overall survival and time to recurrence.
ACY1 + SQSTM1 + GPC3 combination represents a potentially valuable biomarker for distinguishing between WDHCC and HGDN using immunohistochemistry. Meanwhile, low GPC3 staining combined with positive serum AFP may play a practical role in predicting poor postoperative outcome and high tumor recurrence risk.
PMCID: PMC3621586  PMID: 23537217
High grade dysplastic nodules; Well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma; Aminoacylase-1; Sequestosome-1; Glypican-3
20.  Analysis of the Relationships between Clinicopathologic Factors and Survival in Gallbladder Cancer following Surgical Resection with Curative Intent 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e51513.
This study elucidated the relationships between various clinicopathologic factors and the outcome of patients with gallbladder cancer (GBC) treated by surgical resection with curative intent.
Between January 2003 and January 2011, 76 patients with GBC underwent surgical resection with curative intent at our department. We then conducted a retrospective analysis of clinicopathologic data. Fourteen clinicopathological variables were selected for univariate and multivariate analysis to evaluate their influence on the outcome.
The actuarial 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates in the 76 resected cases were 56.6%, 32.7%, and 23.8%, respectively. The univariate analysis revealed that curative resection (P<0.001), lymph node metastasis (P<0.001), AJCC stage (P = 0.030), tumor location (P = 0.008), histologic differentiation (P = 0.028), intraoperative blood loss (P = 0.011), and preoperative jaundice (P = 0.012) were significant risk factors for survival. Multivariate analysis revealed that noncurative resection and tumor location on gallbladder neck were significant risk factors for poor outcome. Among jaundiced patients, we discovered that gallbladder carcinoma with tumor thrombus in common bile duct (CBD) was very rare but with relatively special clinical manifestation and characteristic radiography manifestation. The prognosis of gallbladder carcinoma with tumor thrombus in CBD after surgical procedure was apparently better than gallbladder carcinoma with invasion of hilar tissues.
Curative surgical resection remains the only effective approach to the treatment of GBC. This series confirm that jaundice is a poor prognostic factor. However, the presence of jaundice does not preclude resection, especially in highly selected patients (when R0 resection is achievable). Gallbladder carcinoma with tumor thrombus in CBD has special clinical characteristics, which need to be awared by radiologists and clinicians.
PMCID: PMC3534099  PMID: 23300551
21.  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.
PMCID: PMC3611041  PMID: 23052483
Hepatocarcinoma; Antiangiogenesis; Autophagy; Metabolic stress; Apoptosis
22.  Toll-like receptor 4 signaling promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition in human hepatocellular carcinoma induced by lipopolysaccharide 
BMC Medicine  2012;10:98.
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,
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
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC3482562  PMID: 22938142
Toll-like receptor 4; Epithelial-mesenchymal transition; Lipopolysaccharide; Human hepatocellular carcinoma
23.  Krüppel-Like Factor 8 Is a New Wnt/Beta-Catenin Signaling Target Gene and Regulator in Hepatocellular Carcinoma 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e39668.
Krüppel-like factor 8 (KLF8) plays important role in cell cycle and oncogenic transformation. Here we report the mechanisms by which KLF8 crosstalks with Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway and regulates hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells proliferation. We show that overexpression of KLF8 and nucleus accumulation of β-catenin in the human HCC samples are positively correlated. More importantly, KLF8 protein levels plus nucleus accumulation of β-catenin levels were significantly elevated in high-grade HCC compared to low-grade HCC. Using HCC HepG2 cells we find that, on the one hand both protein and mRNA of KLF8 are up-regulated under Wnt3a stimulation, on the other hand overexpression of KLF8 increases the cytoplasm and nucleus accumulation of β-catenin, recruits p300 to β-catenin/T-cell factor 4 (TCF4) transcription complex, enhances TOP flash report gene transcription, and induces Wnt/β-catenin signaling target genes c-Myc, cyclin D1 and Axin1 expression. Knockdown of KLF8 using shRNA inhibits Wnt3a induced transcription of TOP flash report gene and expression of c-Myc, cyclin D1 and Axin1. Knockdown of β-catenin by shRNA rescues the enhanced HepG2 and Hep3B cells proliferation ability induced by overexpression of KLF8.
PMCID: PMC3384617  PMID: 22761862
24.  LPS-induced down-regulation of signal regulatory protein α contributes to innate immune activation in macrophages 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2007;204(11):2719-2731.
Activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) cascades after Toll-like receptor (TLR) stimulation contributes to innate immune responses. Signal regulatory protein (SIRP) α, a member of the SIRP family that is abundantly expressed in macrophages, has been implicated in regulating MAPK and NF-κB signaling pathways. In addition, SIRPα can negatively regulate the phagocytosis of host cells by macrophages, indicating an inhibitory role of SIRPα in innate immunity. We provide evidences that SIRPα is an essential endogenous regulator of the innate immune activation upon lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure. SIRPα expression was promptly reduced in macrophages after LPS stimulation. The decrease in SIRPα expression levels was required for initiation of LPS-induced innate immune responses because overexpression of SIRPα reduced macrophage responses to LPS. Knockdown of SIRPα caused prolonged activation of MAPKs and NF-κB pathways and augmented production of proinflammatory cytokines and type I interferon (IFN). Mice transferred with SIRPα-depleted macrophages were highly susceptible to endotoxic shock, developing multiple organ failure and exhibiting a remarkable increase in mortality. SIRPα may accomplish this mainly through its association and sequestration of the LPS signal transducer SHP-2. Thus, SIRPα functions as a biologically important modulator of TLR signaling and innate immunity.
PMCID: PMC2118489  PMID: 17954568
25.  Upregulated Expression of a Unique Gene by Hepatitis B x Antigen Promotes Hepatocellular Growth and Tumorigenesis1 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2003;5(3):229-244.
Hepatitis B x antigen (HBxAg) is a trans-activating protein that may be involved in hepatocarcinogenesis, although few natural effectors of HBxAg that participate in this process have been identified. To identify additional effectors, whole cell RNA isolated from HBxAg-positive and HBxAg-negative HepG2 cells were compared by polymerase chain reaction select cDNA subtraction, and one clone, upregulated gene, clone 11 (URG11), was chosen for further characterization. Elevated levels of URG11 mRNA and protein were observed in HBxAg-positive compared to HBxAg-negative HepG2 cells. Costaining was observed in infected liver (P < .01). URG11 stimulated cell growth in culture (P < .01), anchorage-independent growth in soft agar (P < .001), and accelerated tumor formation (P < .01), and yielded larger tumors (P < .02) in SCID mice injected subcutaneously with HepG2 cells. These data suggest that URG11 is a natural effector of HBxAg that may promote the development of hepatocellular carcinoma.
PMCID: PMC1502406  PMID: 12869306
hepatitis B virus; hepatitis B x antigen; hepatocellular carcinoma; oncogene; cell cycle

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