Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a liver cancer with an extremely poor prognosis because of its propensity to spread and invade surrounding tissues. Dr. Xin Wei Wang from the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, Dr. Zhao-You Tang from Fudan University, Shanghai, China, and colleagues recently identified a gene expression signature for primary HCC tumor cell specimens that could predict the metastatic potential of HCC in patients with 78% accuracy. To better understand the mechanisms underlying HCC metastases, the researchers went on to examine whether the metastatic propensity of HCC might also be influenced by the microenvironment of the local tissue.
A thorough examination of noncancerous hepatic tissues from two groups of HCC patients, those with and those without detectable metastases, revealed profound differences in gene expression profiles. Specifically, a unique 17 gene expression signature involving genes associated with inflammation and the immune system was identified in patients with the metastatic phenotype. These patients exhibited a global decrease in gene products associated with inflammation and an increase in anti-inflammatory gene products. Importantly, the genetic signature described in this study provided greater than 92% accuracy in predicting metastases, a result that far exceeds the accuracy of the previously described profile based on primary HCC cells.
The researchers also found that the colony-stimulating factor 1 (CSF1) is playing a prominent role in metastasis of liver cancer cells. "The CSF1 may be reprogramming the immune cells to switch from secreting cytokines that create a pro-inflammatory microenvironment to one that is anti-inflammatory--a condition that supports the growth and metastases of liver tumor cells," explains Dr. Wang.
The findings suggest that, in addition to the metastatic potential of the tumor cells themselves, the inflammatory status of the tissues surrounding the tumor cells may play a key role in tumor metastases and progression. "The genetic signature identified in this study is a superior predictive tool to determine HCC metastases and relapse and may have possible utility in clinical settings to identify HCC patients who might benefit from certain postsurgical treatment to prevent metastases and/or recurrence," said Dr. Wang.
Heidi Hardman | EurekAlert!
More genes are active in high-performance maize
19.01.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
How plants see light
19.01.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine
19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy