Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 17

Hepatocellular Carcinoma Related Abstracts

17 EGFR Signal Induced-Nuclear Translocation of Beta-catenin and PKM2 Promotes HCC Malignancy and Indicates Early Recurrence After Curative Resection

Authors: Fangtian Fan, Zhaoguo Liu, Yin Lu


Early recurrence (ER) (< 1 year) after liver resection is one of the most important factors that impacts the prognosis of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the molecular mechanisms and predictive indexes of ER after curative resection remain largely unknown. The present study aimed to exploit the role of EGFR signaling in EMT and early recurrence of HCC after curative resection and elucidate the molecular mechanisms. Our results showed that nuclear beta-catenin / PKM2 was a independent predictor of early recurrence after curative resection in EGFR-overexpressed HCC. Mechanistic investigation indicated that nuclear accumulation of beta-catenin and PKM2 induced by EGFR signal promoted HCC cell invasion and proliferation, which were required for early recurrence of HCC. These effects were mediated by PI3K/AKT and ERK pathways rather than the canonical Wnt signaling. In conclusions, EGFR signal induced-nuclear translocation of beta-catenin and PKM2 promotes HCC malignancy and indicates early recurrence after curative resection.

Keywords: Hepatocellular Carcinoma, beta-catenin, early recurrence, malignancy, PKM2

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16 Initiation of Paraptosis-Like PCD Pathway in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cell Line by Hep88 mAb through the Binding of Mortalin (HSPA9) and Alpha-Enolase

Authors: Panadda Rojpibulstit, Suthathip Kittisenachai, Songchan Puthong, Sirikul Manochantr, Pornpen Gamnarai, Sasichai Kangsadalampai, Sittiruk Roytrakul


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most primary hepatic cancer worldwide. Nowadays a targeted therapy via monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) specific to tumor-associated antigen is continually developed in HCC treatment. In this regard, after establishing and consequently exploring Hep88 mAb’s tumoricidal effect on hepatocellular carcinoma cell line (HepG2 cell line), the Hep88 mAb’s specific Ag from both membrane and cytoplasmic fractions of HepG2 cell line was identified by 2-D gel electrophoresis and western blot analysis. After in-gel digestion and subsequent analysis by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS), mortalin (HSPA9) and alpha-enolase were identified. The recombinant proteins specific to Hep88 mAb were cloned and expressed in E.coli BL21 (DE3). Moreover, alteration of HepG2 and Chang liver cell line after being induced by Hep88 mAb for 1-3 days was investigated using a transmission electron microscope. The result demonstrated that Hep88 mAb can bind to the recombinant mortalin (HSPA9) andalpha-enolase. In addition, gradual appearance of mitochondria vacuolization and endoplasmic reticulum dilatation were observed. Taken together, paraptosis-like programmed cell death (PCD) of HepG2 is induced by binding of mortalin (HSPA9) and alpha-enolase to Hep88 mAb. Mortalin depletion by formation of Hep88 mAb-mortalin (HSPA9) complex might initiate transcription-independent of p53-mediated apoptosis. Additionally, Hep88 mAb-alpha-enolase complex might initiate HepG2 cells energy exhaustion by glycolysis pathway obstruction. These results imply that Hep88 mAb might be a promising tool for development of an effective treatment of HCC in the next decade.

Keywords: Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Transmission Electron Microscopy, Monoclonal Antibody, Paraptosis-like program cell death, mortalin (HSPA9), alpha-enolase

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15 Histochemical Localization of Hepatitis B Surface Antigen in Hepatocellular Carcinoma: An Evaluation of Two Staining Techniques in a Tertiary Hospital in Calabar, Nigeria

Authors: Imeobong Joseph Inyang, Aniekan-Augusta Okon Eyo, Abel William Essien


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is one of the known human carcinogens. The presence of HBsAg in liver tissues indicates active viral replication. More than 85% of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) cases occur in countries with increased rates of chronic HBV infection. An evaluation study to determine the relationship between positivity for HBsAg and development of HCC and its distribution between age and gender of subjects was done. Shikata Orcein and Haematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) staining techniques were performed on liver sections. A total of 50 liver tissue specimens comprising 38 biopsy and 12 post-mortem specimens were processed. Thirty-five of the 50 specimens were positive for HBsAg with Orcein stain whereas only 16 were positive with H&E stain, and these were also positive with Orcein stain, giving an HBsAg prevalence of 70.0% (35/50). The prevalence of HCC in the study was 56.0% (28/50), of which 21 (75.0%) cases were positive for HBsAg, 18 (64.3%) were males while 10 (35.7%) were females distributed within the age range of 20-70 years. The highest number of HBsAg positive HCC cases, 7/21 (33.3%) occurred in the age group 40-49 years. There was no relationship in the pattern of distribution of HCC between age and gender using the Pearson correlation coefficient (r = 0.0474; P < 0.05). HBV infection predisposed to HCC. Orcein technique was more specific and is therefore recommended for screening of liver tissues where facilities for immunohistochemistry are inaccessible.

Keywords: Pathology, Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Hepatitis B. surface antigen, orcein

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14 Detection of Bcl2 Polymorphism in Patient with Hepatocellular carcinoma

Authors: Mohamed Abdel-Hamid, Olfat Gamil Shaker, Doha El-Sayed Ellakwa, Eman Fathy Abdel-Maksoud


Introduction: Despite advances in the knowledge of the molecular virology of hepatitis C virus (HCV), the mechanisms of hepatocellular injury in HCV infection are not completely understood. Hepatitis C viral infection (HCV) influences the susceptibility to apoptosis. This could lead to insufficient antiviral immune response and persistent viral infection. Aim of this study: was to examine whether BCL-2 gene polymorphism at codon 43 (+127G/A or Ala43Thr) has an impact on development of hepatocellular carcinoma caused by chronic hepatitis C Egyptian patients. Subjects and Methods: The study included three groups; group 1: composing of 30 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), group 2 composing of 30 patients with HCV, group 3 composing of 30 healthy subjects matching the same age and socioeconomic status were taken as a control group. Gene polymorphism of BCL2 (Ala43Thr) were evaluated by PCR-RFLP technique and measured for all patients and controls. Results: The summed 43Thr genotype was more frequent and statistically significant in HCC patients as compared to control group. This genotype of BCL2 gene may inhibit the programmed cell death which leads to disturbance in tissue and cells homeostasis and reduction in immune regulation. This result leads to viral replication and HCV persistence. Moreover, virus produces variety of mechanisms to block genes participated in apoptosis. This mechanism proves that HCV patients who have 43Thr genotype are more susceptible to HCC. Conclusion: The data suggest for the first time that the BCL2 polymorphism is associated with the susceptibility to HCC in Egyptian populations and might be used as molecular markers for evaluating HCC risk. This study clearly demonstrated that Chronic HCV exhibit a deregulation of apoptosis with the disease progression. This provides an insight into the pathogenesis of chronic HCV infection, and may contribute to the therapy.

Keywords: apoptosis, Hepatitis C Virus, Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Sensitivity, specificity, BCL2 gene

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13 Identification of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Using Supervised Learning Algorithms

Authors: Sagri Sharma


Analysis of diseases integrating multi-factors increases the complexity of the problem and therefore, development of frameworks for the analysis of diseases is an issue that is currently a topic of intense research. Due to the inter-dependence of the various parameters, the use of traditional methodologies has not been very effective. Consequently, newer methodologies are being sought to deal with the problem. Supervised Learning Algorithms are commonly used for performing the prediction on previously unseen data. These algorithms are commonly used for applications in fields ranging from image analysis to protein structure and function prediction and they get trained using a known dataset to come up with a predictor model that generates reasonable predictions for the response to new data. Gene expression profiles generated by DNA analysis experiments can be quite complex since these experiments can involve hypotheses involving entire genomes. The application of well-known machine learning algorithm - Support Vector Machine - to analyze the expression levels of thousands of genes simultaneously in a timely, automated and cost effective way is thus used. The objectives to undertake the presented work are development of a methodology to identify genes relevant to Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) from gene expression dataset utilizing supervised learning algorithms and statistical evaluations along with development of a predictive framework that can perform classification tasks on new, unseen data.

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Biomarker, Hepatocellular Carcinoma, support vector machine, gene expression datasets, supervised learning algorithms

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12 Development of a Novel Score for Early Detection of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Patients with Hepatitis C Virus

Authors: Hatem A. El-Mezayen, Hossam Darwesh


Background/Aim: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is often diagnosed at advanced stage where effective therapies are lacking. Identification of new scoring system is needed to discriminate HCC patients from those with chronic liver disease. Based on the link between vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and HCC progression, we aimed to develop a novel score based on combination of VEGF and routine laboratory tests for early prediction of HCC. Methods: VEGF was assayed for HCC group (123), liver cirrhosis group (210) and control group (50) by Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). Data from all groups were retrospectively analyzed including α feto protein (AFP), international normalized ratio (INR), albumin and platelet count, transaminases, and age. Areas under ROC curve were used to develop the score. Results: A novel index named hepatocellular carcinoma-vascular endothelial growth factor score (HCC-VEGF score)=1.26 (numerical constant) + 0.05 ×AFP (U L-1)+0.038 × VEGF(ng ml-1)+0.004× INR –1.02 × Albumin (g l-1)–0.002 × Platelet count × 109 l-1 was developed. HCC-VEGF score produce area under ROC curve of 0.98 for discriminating HCC patients from liver cirrhosis with sensitivity of 91% and specificity of 82% at cut-off 4.4 (ie less than 4.4 considered cirrhosis and greater than 4.4 considered HCC). Conclusion: Hepatocellular carcinoma-VEGF score could replace AFP in HCC screening and follow up of cirrhotic patients.

Keywords: Diagnosis, Cirrhosis, Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Tumor Markers, HCV

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11 Diagnostic Performance of Tumor Associated Trypsin Inhibitor in Early Detection of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Patients with Hepatitis C Virus

Authors: Aml M. El-Sharkawy, Hossam M. Darwesh


Abstract— Background/Aim: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is often diagnosed at advanced stage where effective therapies are lacking. Identification of new scoring system is needed to discriminate HCC patients from those with chronic liver disease. Based on the link between tumor associated trypsin inhibitor (TATI) and HCC progression, we aimed to develop a novel score based on combination of TATI and routine laboratory tests for early prediction of HCC. Methods: TATI was assayed for HCC group (123), liver cirrhosis group (210) and control group (50) by Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). Data from all groups were retrospectively analyzed including α feto protein (AFP), international normalized ratio (INR), albumin and platelet count, transaminases, and age. Areas under ROC curve were used to develop the score. Results: A novel index named hepatocellular carcinoma-vascular endothelial growth factor score (HCC-TATI score) = 3.1 (numerical constant) + 0.09 ×AFP (U L-1) + 0.067 × TATI (ng ml-1) + 0.16 × INR – 1.17 × Albumin (g l-1) – 0.032 × Platelet count × 109 l-1 was developed. HCC-TATI score produce area under ROC curve of 0.98 for discriminating HCC patients from liver cirrhosis with sensitivity of 91% and specificity of 82% at cut-off 6.5 (ie less than 6.5 considered cirrhosis and greater than 4.4 considered HCC). Conclusion: Hepatocellular carcinoma-TATI score could replace AFP in HCC screening and follow up of cirrhotic patients.

Keywords: Diagnosis, Cirrhosis, Hepatocellular Carcinoma, HCV, TATI

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10 Identification of a Panel of Epigenetic Biomarkers for Early Detection of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Blood of Individuals with Liver Cirrhosis

Authors: Katarzyna Lubecka, Kirsty Flower, Megan Beetch, Lucinda Kurzava, Hannah Buvala, Samer Gawrieh, Suthat Liangpunsakul, Tracy Gonzalez, George McCabe, Naga Chalasani, James M. Flanagan, Barbara Stefanska


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most prevalent type of primary liver cancer, is the second leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Late onset of clinical symptoms in HCC results in late diagnosis and poor disease outcome. Approximately 85% of individuals with HCC have underlying liver cirrhosis. However, not all cirrhotic patients develop cancer. Reliable early detection biomarkers that can distinguish cirrhotic patients who will develop cancer from those who will not are urgently needed and could increase the cure rate from 5% to 80%. We used Illumina-450K microarray to test whether blood DNA, an easily accessible source of DNA, bear site-specific changes in DNA methylation in response to HCC before diagnosis with conventional tools (pre-diagnostic). Top 11 differentially methylated sites were selected for validation by pyrosequencing. The diagnostic potential of the 11 pyrosequenced probes was tested in blood samples from a prospective cohort of cirrhotic patients. We identified 971 differentially methylated CpG sites in pre-diagnostic HCC cases as compared with healthy controls (P < 0.05, paired Wilcoxon test, ICC ≥ 0.5). Nearly 76% of differentially methylated CpG sites showed lower levels of methylation in cases vs. controls (P = 2.973E-11, Wilcoxon test). Classification of the CpG sites according to their location relative to CpG islands and transcription start site revealed that those hypomethylated loci are located in regulatory regions important for gene transcription such as CpG island shores, promoters, and 5’UTR at higher frequency than hypermethylated sites. Among 735 CpG sites hypomethylated in cases vs. controls, 482 sites were assigned to gene coding regions whereas 236 hypermethylated sites corresponded to 160 genes. Bioinformatics analysis using GO, KEGG and DAVID knowledgebase indicate that differentially methylated CpG sites are located in genes associated with functions that are essential for gene transcription, cell adhesion, cell migration, and regulation of signal transduction pathways. Taking into account the magnitude of the difference, statistical significance, location, and consistency across the majority of matched pairs case-control, we selected 11 CpG loci corresponding to 10 genes for further validation by pyrosequencing. We established that methylation of CpG sites within 5 out of those 10 genes distinguish cirrhotic patients who subsequently developed HCC from those who stayed cancer free (cirrhotic controls), demonstrating potential as biomarkers of early detection in populations at risk. The best predictive value was detected for CpGs located within BARD1 (AUC=0.70, asymptotic significance ˂0.01). Using an additive logistic regression model, we further showed that 9 CpG loci within those 5 genes, that were covered in pyrosequenced probes, constitute a panel with high diagnostic accuracy (AUC=0.887; 95% CI:0.80-0.98). The panel was able to distinguish pre-diagnostic cases from cirrhotic controls free of cancer with 88% sensitivity at 70% specificity. Using blood as a minimally invasive material and pyrosequencing as a straightforward quantitative method, the established biomarker panel has high potential to be developed into a routine clinical test after validation in larger cohorts. This study was supported by Showalter Trust, American Cancer Society (IRG#14-190-56), and Purdue Center for Cancer Research (P30 CA023168) granted to BS.

Keywords: Biomarker, Early Detection, Hepatocellular Carcinoma, DNA Methylation

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9 The Effect of Thymoquinone and Sorafenib Combination on Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cell Line

Authors: Nabila N. El-Maraghy, Amany Essa, Yousra Abdel–Mottaleb, Nada Ismail


The use of combination of chemotherapy and natural products to influence the cell death with low doses of chemotherapeutic agents and few side effects has recently emerged as a new method of cancer therapy. Aim: Evaluation the modulatory effect of Thymoquinone on HepG2 cells treated with Sorafenib. Methods: Hepatocellular Carcinoma HepG2 cell line was treated with Sorafenib and TQ individually and in combination. The effect of these treatments on cell viability (MTT assay), apoptosis (Expression of Caspase-3) and oxidative markers (GSH content and extent of lipid peroxidation) was determined. Results: When compared the effect of both agents alone and the combination of the IC50 of Sorafenib and the IC50 TQ, the combination resulted in reduction of cell inhibition and apoptosis and antagonize their actions on GSH content and extent of lipid peroxidation which are increased. This study showed potent anti-tumor activity of both TQ and Sorafenib separately on HepG2 but upon combination surprisingly they interacted and give antagonistic effect. Conclusion: Co-treatment resulted in antagonistic interaction between Sorafenib and Thymoquinone.

Keywords: Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Antagonism, thymoquinone, sorafenib

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8 Autophagy Regulates Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Tumorigenesis through Selective Degradation of Cyclin D1

Authors: Shan-Ying Wu, Sheng-Hui Lan, Xi-Zhang Lin, Ih-Jen Su, Ting-Fen Tsai, Chia-Jui Yen, Tsung-Hsueh Lu, Fu-Wen Liang, Huey-Jen Su, Chun-Li Su, Hsiao-Sheng Liu


In hepatocelluar carcinoma (HCC), dysregulated expression of cyclin D1 and impaired autophagy has been reported separately. However, the relationship between them has not been explored. In this study, we demonstrated that autophagy was inversely correlated with cyclin D1 expression in 147 paired HCC patient specimens. HCC specimen with highly expression of cyclin D1 shows correlation with poor overall survival rate. Furthermore, induction of autophagy by amiodarone (antiarrhythmic drug) in Hep 3B cells, cyclin D1 was recruited into autophagosomes demonstrated by immune-gold labeling of cyclin D1 after extraction of autophagosomes. We further demonstrated that autophagy suppresses Hep 3B cell proliferation, and further analysis revealed that cell cycle was arrested at G1 phase. The interaction between LC3 (maker of autophagy) and cyclin D1 was increased after autophagy induction. In addition, ubiquitinated-cyclin D1 was also increased after autophagy induction, which is selectively degraded by autophagosome through binding with SQSTM1/p62 (an adaptor protein). In vivo study showed that amiodarone induced autophagy suppresses liver tumor formation in xenograft mouse and orthotopic rat model through decreasing cyclin D1 expression and inhibition of cell proliferation. Altogether, we reveal a novel mechanism that ubiquitinated cyclin D1 degraded by autophagic pathway by p62 and amiodarone is a promising drug for targeting cyclin D1 in liver cancer therapy.

Keywords: autophagy, Hepatocellular Carcinoma, amiodarone, cyclin D1

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7 The Role of Il-6-Mediated NS5ATP9 Expression in Autophagy of Liver Cancer Cells

Authors: Hongping Lu, Kelbinur Tursun, Yaru Li, Yu Zhang, Shunai Liu, Ming Han


Objective: To investigate whether NS5ATP9 is involved in IL-6 mediated autophagy and the relationship between IL-6 and NS5ATP9 in liver cancer cells. Methods: 1. Detect the mRNA and protein levels of Beclin 1 after HepG2 cells were treated with or without recombinant human IL-6 protein. 2. Measure and compare of the changes of autophagy-related genes with their respective control, after IL-6 was silenced or neutralized with monoclonal antibody against human IL-6. 3. HepG2 cells were incubated with 50 ng/ml of IL-6 in the presence or absence of PDTC. The expression of NS5ATP9 was analyzed by Western blot after 48 h. 4. After NS5ATP9-silenced HepG2 cells had been treated with 50 ng/ml recombinant IL-6 protein, we detected the Beclin 1 and LC3B (LC3Ⅱ/Ⅰ) expression. 5. HepG2 cells were transfected with pNS5ATP9, si-NS5ATP9, and their respective control. Total RNA was isolated from cells and analyzed for IL-6. 6. Silence or neutralization of IL-6 in HepG2 cells which has been transfected with NS5ATP9. Beclin 1 and LC3 protein levels were analyzed by Western blot. Result: 1. After HepG2 were treated with recombinant human IL-6 protein, the expression of endogenous Beclin 1 was up-regulated at mRNA and protein level, and the conversion of endogenous LC3-I to LC3-II was also increased. These results indicated that IL-6 could induce autophagy. 2. When HepG2 cells were treated with IL-6 siRNA or monoclonal antibody against human IL-6, the expression of autophagy-related genes were decreased. 3. Exogenous human IL-6 recombinant protein up-regulated NS5ATP9 via NF-κB activation. 4. The expression of Beclin 1 and LC3B was down-regulated after IL-6 treated NS5ATP9-silenced HepG2 cells. 5. NS5ATP9 could reverse regulates IL-6 expression in HepG2 cells. 6. Silence or neutralization of IL-6 attenuates NS5ATP9-induced autophagy slightly. Conclusion: Our results implied that in HCC patients, maybe the higher level of IL-6 in the serum promoted the expression of NS5ATP9 and induced autophagy in cancer cells. And the over-expression of NS5ATP9 which induced by IL-6, in turn, increased IL-6 expression, further, promotes the IL-6/NS5ATP9-mediated autophagy and affects the progression of tumor. Therefore, NS5ATP9 silence might be a potential target for HCC therapy.

Keywords: Microenvironment, autophagy, Hepatocellular Carcinoma, IL-6, NS5ATP9

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6 Myeloid Zinc Finger 1/Ets-Like Protein-1/Protein Kinase C Alpha Associated with Poor Prognosis in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Authors: Jer-Yuh Liu, Je-Chiuan Ye, Jin-Ming Hwang


Protein kinase C alpha (PKCα) is a key signaling molecule in human cancer development. As a therapeutic strategy, targeting PKCα is difficult because the molecule is ubiquitously expressed in non-malignant cells. PKCα is regulated by the cooperative interaction of the transcription factors myeloid zinc finger 1 (MZF-1) and Ets-like protein-1 (Elk-1) in human cancer cells. By conducting tissue array analysis, herein, we determined the protein expression of MZF-1/Elk-1/PKCα in various cancers. The data show that the expression of MZF-1/Elk-1 is correlated with that of PKCα in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but not in bladder and lung cancers. In addition, the PKCα down-regulation by shRNA Elk-1 was only observed in the HCC SK-Hep-1 cells. Blocking the interaction between MZF-1 and Elk-1 through the transfection of their binding domain MZF-160–72 decreased PKCα expression. This step ultimately depressed the epithelial-mesenchymal transition potential of the HCC cells. These findings could be used to develop an alternative therapeutic strategy for patients with the PKCα-derived HCC.

Keywords: Hepatocellular Carcinoma, protein kinase C alpha, myeloid zinc finger 1, ets-like protein-1

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5 Biochemical Effects of Low Dose Dimethyl Sulfoxide on HepG2 Liver Cancer Cell Line

Authors: Esra Sengul, R. G. Aktas, M. E. Sitar, H. Isan


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a hepatocellular tumor commonly found on the surface of the chronic liver. HepG2 is the most commonly used cell type in HCC studies. The main proteins remaining in the blood serum after separation of plasma fibrinogen are albumin and globulin. The fact that the albumin showed hepatocellular damage and reflect the synthesis capacity of the liver was the main reason for our use. Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) is an albumin-like structural embryonic globulin found in the embryonic cortex, cord blood, and fetal liver. It has been used as a marker in the follow-up of tumor growth in various malign tumors and in the efficacy of surgical-medical treatments, so it is a good protein to look at with albumins. We have seen the morphological changes of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) on HepG2 and decided to investigate its biochemical effects. We examined the effects of DMSO, which is used in cell cultures, on albumin, AFP and total protein at low doses. Material Method: Cell Culture: Medium was prepared in cell culture using Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Media (DMEM), Fetal Bovine Serum Dulbecco's (FBS), Phosphate Buffered Saline and trypsin maintained at -20 ° C. Fixation of Cells: HepG2 cells, which have been appropriately developed at the end of the first week, were fixed with acetone. We stored our cells in PBS at + 4 ° C until the fixation was completed. Area Calculation: The areas of the cells are calculated in the ImageJ (IJ). Microscope examination: The examination was performed with a Zeiss Inverted Microscope. Daytime photographs were taken at 40x, 100x 200x and 400x. Biochemical Tests: Protein (Total): Serum sample was analyzed by a spectrophotometric method in autoanalyzer. Albumin: Serum sample was analyzed by a spectrophotometric method in autoanalyzer. Alpha-fetoprotein: Serum sample was analyzed by ECLIA method. Results: When liver cancer cells were cultured in medium with 1% DMSO for 4 weeks, a significant difference was observed when compared with the control group. As a result, we have seen that DMSO can be used as an important agent in the treatment of liver cancer. Cell areas were reduced in the DMSO group compared to the control group and the confluency ratio increased. The ability to form spheroids was also significantly higher in the DMSO group. Alpha-fetoprotein was lower than the values of an ordinary liver cancer patient and the total protein amount increased to the reference range of the normal individual. Because the albumin sample was below the specimen value, the numerical results could not be obtained on biochemical examinations. We interpret all these results as making DMSO a caretaking aid. Since each one was not enough alone we used 3 parameters and the results were positive when we refer to the values of a normal healthy individual in parallel. We hope to extend the study further by adding new parameters and genetic analyzes, by increasing the number of samples, and by using DMSO as an adjunct agent in the treatment of liver cancer.

Keywords: Cell Culture, Hepatocellular Carcinoma, ELISA, hepG2, dimethyl sulfoxide

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4 Effects of Oral L-Carnitine on Liver Functions after Trans arterial Chemoembolization in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Patients

Authors: Ali Kassem, Aly Taha, Abeer Hassan, Kazuhide Higuchi


Introduction: Trans arterial chemoembolization (TACE) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is usually followed by hepatic dysfunction that limits its efficacy. L-carnitine is recently studied as hepatoprotective agent. Our aim is to evaluate the L-carnitine effects against the deterioration of liver functions after TACE. Method: 53 patients with intermediate stage HCC were assigned into two groups; L-carnitine group (26 patients) who received L-carnitine 300 mg tablet twice daily from 2 weeks before to 12 weeks after TACE and control group (27 patients) without L-carnitine therapy. 28 of studied patients received branched chain amino acids granules. Results: There were significant differences between L-carnitine Vs. control group in mean serum albumin change from baseline to 1 week and 4 weeks after TACE (p < 0.05). L-Carnitine maintained Child-Pugh score at 1 week after TACE and exhibited improvement at 4 weeks after TACE (p < 0.01 Vs 1 week after TACE). Control group has significant Child-Pugh score deterioration from baseline to 1 week after TACE (p < 0.05) and 12 weeks after TACE (p < 0.05). There were significant differences between L-carnitine and control groups in mean Child-Pugh score change from baseline to 4 weeks (p < 0.05) and 12 weeks after TACE (p < 0.05). L-carnitine displayed improvement in (PT) from baseline to 1 week, 4 w (p < 0.05) and 12 weeks after TACE. PT in control group declined less than baseline along all follow up intervals. Total bilirubin in L-carnitine group decreased at 1 week post TACE while in control group, it significantly increased at 1 week (p = 0.01). ALT and C-reactive protein elevation were suppressed at 1 week after TACE in Lcarnitine group. The hepatoprotective effects of L-carnitine were enhanced by concomitant use of branched chain amino acids. Conclusion: L-carnitine and BCAA combination therapy offer a novel supportive strategy after TACE in HCC patients.

Keywords: Hepatocellular Carcinoma, l-carnitine, liver functions, trans-arterial embolization

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3 The Gut Microbiome in Cirrhosis and Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Characterization of Disease-Related Microbial Signature and the Possible Impact of Life Style and Nutrition

Authors: Lena Lapidot, Amir Amnon, Rita Nosenko, Veitsman Ella, Cohen-Ezra Oranit, Davidov Yana, Segev Shlomo, Koren Omry, Safran Michal, Ben-Ari Ziv


Introduction: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the leading causes of cancer related mortality worldwide. Liver Cirrhosis is the main predisposing risk factor for the development of HCC. The factor(s) influencing disease progression from Cirrhosis to HCC remain unknown. Gut microbiota has recently emerged as a major player in different liver diseases, however its association with HCC is still a mystery. Moreover, there might be an important association between the gut microbiota, nutrition, life style and the progression of Cirrhosis and HCC. The aim of our study was to characterize the gut microbial signature in association with life style and nutrition of patients with Cirrhosis, HCC-Cirrhosis and healthy controls. Design: Stool samples were collected from 95 individuals (30 patients with HCC, 38 patients with Cirrhosis and 27 age, gender and BMI-matched healthy volunteers). All participants answered lifestyle and Food Frequency Questionnaires. 16S rRNA sequencing of fecal DNA was performed (MiSeq Illumina). Results: There was a significant decrease in alpha diversity in patients with Cirrhosis (qvalue=0.033) and in patients with HCC-Cirrhosis (qvalue=0.032) compared to healthy controls. The microbiota of patients with HCC-cirrhosis compared to patients with Cirrhosis, was characterized by a significant overrepresentation of Clostridium (pvalue=0.024) and CF231 (pvalue=0.010) and lower expression of Alphaproteobacteria (pvalue=0.039) and Verrucomicrobia (pvalue=0.036) in several taxonomic levels: Verrucomicrobiae, Verrucomicrobiales, Verrucomicrobiaceae and the genus Akkermansia (pvalue=0.039). Furthermore, we performed an analysis of predicted metabolic pathways (Kegg level 2) that resulted in a significant decrease in the diversity of metabolic pathways in patients with HCC-Cirrhosis (qvalue=0.015) compared to controls, one of which was amino acid metabolism. Furthermore, investigating the life style and nutrition habits of patients with HCC-Cirrhosis, we found significant correlations between intake of artificial sweeteners and Verrucomicrobia (qvalue=0.12), High sugar intake and Synergistetes (qvalue=0.021) and High BMI and the pathogen Campylobacter (qvalue=0.066). Furthermore, overweight in patients with HCC-Cirrhosis modified bacterial diversity (qvalue=0.023) and composition (qvalue=0.033). Conclusions: To the best of the our knowledge, we present the first report of the gut microbial composition in patients with HCC-Cirrhosis, compared with Cirrhotic patients and healthy controls. We have demonstrated in our study that there are significant differences in the gut microbiome of patients with HCC-cirrhosis compared to Cirrhotic patients and healthy controls. Our findings are even more pronounced because the significantly increased bacteria Clostridium and CF231 in HCC-Cirrhosis weren't influenced by diet and lifestyle, implying this change is due to the development of HCC. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings and assess causality.

Keywords: Nutrition, Microbiome, Liver Disease, Cirrhosis, Hepatocellular Carcinoma, life style

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2 Interferon-Induced Transmembrane Protein-3 rs12252-CC Associated with the Progress of Hepatocellular Carcinoma by Up-Regulating the Expression of Interferon-Induced Transmembrane Protein 3

Authors: Yuli Hou, Jianping Sun, Mengdan Gao, Hui Liu, Ling Qin, Ang Li, Dongfu Li, Yonghong Zhang, Yan Zhao


Background and Aims: Interferon-induced transmembrane protein 3 (IFITM3) is a component of ISG (Interferon-Stimulated Gene) family. IFITM3 has been recognized as a key signal molecule regulating cell growth in some tumors. However, the function of IFITM3 rs12252-CC genotype in the hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains unknown to author’s best knowledge. A cohort study was employed to clarify the relationship between IFITM3 rs12252-CC genotype and HCC progression, and cellular experiments were used to investigate the correlation of function of IFITM3 and the progress of HCC. Methods: 336 candidates were enrolled in study, including 156 with HBV related HCC and 180 with chronic Hepatitis B infections or liver cirrhosis. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was employed to determine the gene polymorphism of IFITM3. The functions of IFITM3 were detected in PLC/PRF/5 cell with different treated:LV-IFITM3 transfected with lentivirus to knockdown the expression of IFITM3 and LV-NC transfected with empty lentivirus as negative control. The IFITM3 expression, proliferation and migration were detected by Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), QuantiGene Plex 2.0 assay, western blotting, immunohistochemistry, Cell Counting Kit(CCK)-8 and wound healing respectively. Six samples (three infected with empty lentiviral as control; three infected with LV-IFITM3 vector lentiviral as experimental group ) of PLC/PRF/5 were sequenced at BGI (Beijing Genomics Institute, Shenzhen,China) using RNA-seq technology to identify the IFITM3-related signaling pathways and chose PI3K/AKT pathway as related signaling to verify. Results: The patients with HCC had a significantly higher proportion of IFITM3 rs12252-CC compared with the patients with chronic HBV infection or liver cirrhosis. The distribution of CC genotype in HCC patients with low differentiation was significantly higher than that in those with high differentiation. Patients with CC genotype found with bigger tumor size, higher percentage of vascular thrombosis, higher distribution of low differentiation and higher 5-year relapse rate than those with CT/TT genotypes. The expression of IFITM3 was higher in HCC tissues than adjacent normal tissues, and the level of IFITM3 was higher in HCC tissues with low differentiation and metastatic than high/medium differentiation and without metastatic. Higher RNA level of IFITM3 was found in CC genotype than TT genotype. In PLC/PRF/5 cell with knockdown, the ability of cell proliferation and migration was inhibited. Analysis RNA sequencing and verification of RT-PCR found out the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B/mammalian target of rapamycin(PI3K/AKT/mTOR) pathway was associated with knockdown IFITM3.With the inhibition of IFITM3, the expression of PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway was blocked and the expression of vimentin was decreased. Conclusions: IFITM3 rs12252-CC with the higher expression plays a vital role in the progress of HCC by regulating HCC cell proliferation and migration. These effects are associated with PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway.

Keywords: Hepatocellular Carcinoma, HCC, IFITM3, interferon-induced transmembrane protein 3, PI3K/ AKT/mTOR, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B/mammalian target of rapamycin

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1 Retrospective Assessment of the Safety and Efficacy of Percutaneous Microwave Ablation in the Management of Hepatic Lesions

Authors: Suang K. Lau, Ismail Goolam, Rafid Al-Asady


Background: The majority of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are not suitable for curative treatment, in the form of surgical resection or transplantation, due to tumour extent and underlying liver dysfunction. In these non-resectable cases, a variety of non-surgical therapies are available, including microwave ablation (MWA), which has shown increasing popularity due to its low morbidity, low reported complication rate, and the ability to perform multiple ablations simultaneously. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the validity of MWA as a viable treatment option in the management of HCC and hepatic metastatic disease, by assessing its efficacy and complication rate at a tertiary hospital situated in Westmead (Australia). Methods: A retrospective observational study was performed evaluating patients that underwent MWA between 1/1/2017–31/12/2018 at Westmead Hospital, NSW, Australia. Outcome measures, including residual disease, recurrence rates, as well as major and minor complication rates, were retrospectively analysed over a 12-months period following MWA treatment. Excluded patients included those whose lesions were treated on the basis of residual or recurrent disease from previous treatment, which occurred prior to the study window (11 patients) and those who were lost to follow up (2 patients). Results: Following treatment of 106 new hepatic lesions, the complete response rate (CR) was 86% (91/106) at 12 months follow up. 10 patients had the residual disease at post-treatment follow up imaging, corresponding to an incomplete response (ICR) rate of 9.4% (10/106). The local recurrence rate (LRR) was 4.6% (5/106) with follow-up period up to 12 months. The minor complication rate was 9.4% (10/106) including asymptomatic pneumothorax (n=2), asymptomatic pleural effusions (n=2), right lower lobe pneumonia (n=3), pain requiring admission (n=1), hypotension (n=1), cellulitis (n=1) and intraparenchymal hematoma (n=1). There was 1 major complication reported, with pleuro-peritoneal fistula causing recurrent large pleural effusion necessitating repeated thoracocentesis (n=1). There was no statistically significant association between tumour size, location or ablation factors, and risk of recurrence or residual disease. A subset analysis identified 6 segment VIII lesions, which were treated via a trans-pleural approach. This cohort demonstrated an overall complication rate of 33% (2/6), including 1 minor complication of asymptomatic pneumothorax and 1 major complication of pleuro-peritoneal fistula. Conclusions: Microwave ablation therapy is an effective and safe treatment option in cases of non-resectable hepatocellular carcinoma and liver metastases, with good local tumour control and low complication rates. A trans-pleural approach for high segment VIII lesions is associated with a higher complication rate and warrants greater caution.

Keywords: Hepatocellular Carcinoma, microwave ablation, liver metastases, trans-pleural approach

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