Recent studies have shown increased levels of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in a variety of human malignancies including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but little is known about the prognostic value of COX-2 in HCC or its associated nontumor liver tissue. We examined the expression of COX-2 protein by immunohistochemistry in 53 patients with HCCs whose corresponding nontumor tissues were hepatitis C virus-related chronic hepatitis (n = 21) and cirrhosis (n = 32). Samples of nine histologically normal livers and eight precancerous dysplasias were also analyzed. The level of COX-2 increased from normal liver to chronic hepatitis to cirrhosis. The majority of cirrhotic livers (81%) displayed marked COX-2 expression. In dysplasias, COX-2 expression was mainly moderate or strong (88%). In HCC, 17% of samples displayed a high COX-2 expression, and 37% of samples expressed COX-2 at a moderate level. Concordant results were obtained with reverse transcription- PCR and Western blot analyses. Clinicopathological survey indicated a significant correlation between COX-2 expression and differentiated carcinoma (P = 0.019). Although there was no correlation between COX-2 expression in HCC and prognosis, a striking difference was found between COX-2 expression in nontumor tissue and shorter disease-free survival (P = 0.0132). Moreover, high COX-2 expression in nontumor tissue was significantly correlated with the presence of active inflammation (P < 0.0001). The present findings suggest that COX-2 expression in nontumor tissue may play a positive role in relapse of HCC after surgery.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Clinical Cancer Research|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1999|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research