Get access

The role of heat shock protein 27 expression in hepatocellular carcinoma in Japan: special reference to the difference between hepatitis B and C


Norifumi Harimoto, Department of Surgery and Science, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, 3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan.
Tel: 81-92-642-5466
Fax: 81-92-642-5482


A recent report showed that heat shock protein (HSP)-27 expression was related to histological grade and survival of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Aims: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of expression of HSP-27 on clinicopathological variables in Japanese patients with HCC.

Methods: An immunohistochemical study for HSP-27 was performed on 60 HCC cases using a monoclonal anti-HSP-27 antibody. We divided 60 patients into two groups, patients with a low expression of HSP-27 (n=34) and those with a high expression of HSP-27 (n=26). Forty patients tested positive for the hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody and 20 tested positive for the hepatitis B surface antigen.

Results: There appeared to be no relationship between HSP expression and clinicopathologic factors and no differences were observed between the high expression group and the low expression group. In the hepatitis B virus (HBV) group (n=20), HSP-27 expression correlated significantly with prognosis, disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival. High expression was significantly associated with poor prognosis in the HBV group. In contrast, patients with a high expression tended to have a good prognosis in the HCV group (n=40): DFS and overall survival.

Conclusions: This study showed the possibility that HSP-27 plays different roles in HBV- and HCV-associated HCCs.