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Altered p-STAT3 (tyr705) expression is associated with histological grading and intratumour microvessel density in hepatocellular carcinoma
  1. Sheau-Fang Yang1,*,
  2. Shen-Nien Wang2,3,*,
  3. Chih-Fung Wu4,
  4. Yao-Tsung Yeh3,
  5. Chee-Yin Chai1,
  6. Shih-Chang Chunag2,
  7. Maw-Chang Sheen4,
  8. King-Teh Lee2
  1. 1Department of Pathology, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  2. 2Division of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Department of Surgery, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  3. 3Graduate Institute of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  4. 4Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr King-Teh Lee
 Chairman and Professor, Department of Surgery, Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital, No 100, Tzyou 1st Road, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan; ktlee{at}cc.kmu.edu.tw

Abstract

Background: Constitutive activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 at tyrosine residue 705 (p-STAT3 (tyr705)) has been associated with many types of human cancers. However, its potential roles and biological effects in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are not well established.

Aim: To explore whether an altered p-STAT3 (tyr705) expression is associated with angiogenesis or proliferation and thereby plays a part in HCC development.

Methods: Paraffin-wax-embedded sections from 69 patients with HCC were collected in this study. Using a semiquantitative immunohistochemical staining method, the expression patterns of p-STAT3 (tyr705) in both HCC lesions and the adjacent non-tumorous liver parenchyma were analysed. The results obtained were further correlated with intratumour microvessel density (MVD), Ki-67 expression, clinicopathological parameters and overall survival.

Results: A strong p-STAT3 (tyr705) nuclear staining was observed in 49.3% of HCC lesions, but was reported only in 5.8% of the adjacent non-tumorous liver parenchyma (p<0.001). The expression of p-STAT3 (tyr705) in HCC lesions was significantly and positively correlated with the intratumour MVD (p = 0.002), but not with Ki-67 expression. No significant correlation of p-STAT3 (tyr705) was found in addition to histological grading (p = 0.019). Multivariate Cox regression analysis showed that p-STAT3 (tyr705) expression was a significant predictor of overall survival for HCC (p = 0.036), although the Kaplan–Meier survival curves showed no significant difference between the high and low p-STAT3 (tyr705) expression subgroups.

Conclusions: The results showed that p-STAT3 (tyr705) expression was closely correlated with histological grading and intratumour MVD in HCC. Thus, the potential role of p-STAT3 (tyr705) in HCC development may be through these correlations.

  • HBV, hepatitis B virus
  • HCV, hepatitis C virus
  • HCC, hepatocellular carcinoma
  • MVD, microvessel density
  • p-STAT3 (tyr705), phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription protein 3 at tyrosine residue 705
  • VEGF, vascular endothelial growth factor

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Footnotes

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Published Online First 10 August 2006

  • Competing interests: None declared.

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