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Clinicopathological features of hepatocellular carcinoma evaluated by vascular endothelial growth factor expression


Shinji Osada, Surgical Oncology, Gifu University School of Medicine, 1-1 Yanagido, Gifu City, 501-1194, Japan. Email:


Aim:  To evaluate the significance of the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), its correlation with clinicopathological variables were studied in the tissue of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and surrounding liver.

Methods:  In 56 samples (tumor and non-tumor liver tissue) collected from 28 patients, VEGF expression was examined by immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis.

Results:  The value of VEGF expression by western blotting was correlated with immunohistochemical staining grade. In tumor tissue, the value of VEGF expression correlated with tumor size (P = 0.034), á-fetoprotein (P = 0.036) and protein induced by vitamin K absence-II by simple regression, and histological grade (P = 0.0132) by the unpaired t-test. The level of VEGF expression in non-tumor liver was found to correlate with the value of serum albumin (P = 0.008), cholinesterase (P = 0.012) and prothrombin activity (P = 0.046). The frequency of simple nodular type in gross appearance decreased in cases with high tumor/non-tumor (T/N) ratio (P = 0.022), and the degree of portal vein invasion progressed with an increase in the T/N ratio (P = 0.008). The T/N ratio was significantly higher in early recurrence cases (P = 0.0081).

Conclusion:  This study on the expression of VEGF might be useful to estimate the liver condition and the clinicopathological features of HCC.