Expression of galectin-3 involved in prognosis of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma
Article first published online: 5 AUG 2008
© 2008 The Japan Society of Hepatology
Volume 38, Issue 11, pages 1098–1111, November 2008
How to Cite
Matsuda, Y., Yamagiwa, Y., Fukushima, K., Ueno, Y. and Shimosegawa, T. (2008), Expression of galectin-3 involved in prognosis of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatology Research, 38: 1098–1111. doi: 10.1111/j.1872-034X.2008.00387.x
- Issue published online: 29 SEP 2008
- Article first published online: 5 AUG 2008
- Received 2 September 2007; revision 21 April 2008; accepted 23 April 2008.
- hepatocellular carcinoma;
- tumor progression
Aims: Galectins are multifunctional lectins binding to the β-galactoside of glycoproteins that affect diverse physiological and pathophysiological processes such as development, inflammation and tumor growth. In hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the over-expression of galectin-1, 3, and 4 has been reported, although their function and correlation with tumor progression remain unknown. Thus, we aimed to assess the role of galectin-3 during HCC progression.
Methods: Specimens were obtained during curative operations and used for immunohistochemical analysis of galectin-3 (n = 52), and statistically assessed for correlations with the clinical profiles and the prognoses of the patients. The serum galectin-3 levels from the patients with liver diseases including HCC were assessed by ELISA.
Results: In total, galectin-3 expression was found in 34 of 52 tumors (65%) and was statistically correlated with histological differentiation and vascular invasion. Kaplan-Meier's analysis showed that patients with galectin-3 expression tended to relapse in the earlier phase and had worse overall survival. In particular, a higher expression rate of nuclear galectin-3 showed a markedly worse prognosis, and it was independent in the multivariate analysis for overall survival. Serum galectin-3 levels were significantly increased in HCC compared with chronic liver disease. The sensitivity and specificity of galectin-3 were equivalent to alpha-fetoprotein and Vitamin K absence or antagonist II, and the combination of HCC biomarkers with galectin-3 improved the diagnostic performance.
Conclusions: Galectin-3 expression was involved in the tumor progression and related to the prognosis of HCC. Our observations suggested that galectin-3 could be a novel tumor marker and therapeutic target.