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H19 expression in hepatic metastases from a range of human carcinomas
  1. Y Fellig1,
  2. I Ariel1,
  3. P Ohana2,
  4. P Schachter3,
  5. I Sinelnikov4,
  6. T Birman2,
  7. S Ayesh2,
  8. T Schneider2,
  9. N de Groot2,
  10. A Czerniak3,
  11. A Hochberg2
  1. 1Department of Pathology, Hadassah Medical Organization, Ein-Kerem and Mount Scopus Branches, Jerusalem 91120, Israel
  2. 2Department of Biological Chemistry, Institute of Life Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91904, Israel
  3. 3Department of Surgery A, Wolfson Medical Center, Holon 58222, Israel
  4. 4Department of Pathology, Soroka Medical Center, Beer-Sheva 84101, Israel
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Y Fellig
 Department of Pathology, Hadassah Medical Organization, Kiryat Hadassah, PO Box 12000, Jerusalem 91120, Israel;


Aims: To investigate the expression of the imprinted oncofetal H19 gene in hepatic metastases derived from a range of human carcinomas and assess its prognostic value with the view of developing a DNA based treatment for such metastases.

Methods: Non-radioactive in situ hybridisation for H19 RNA was performed on paraffin wax embedded sections of liver biopsies or partial hepatectomy specimens, taken from 80 patients with hepatic metastases derived from carcinomas from several medical centres in Israel. The degree of expression was graded qualitatively according to the number of cells expressing H19 and the intensity of staining. The medical files were searched for demographic data and survival times before and after diagnosis of hepatic metastases.

Results: H19 expression was found in the hepatic metastases of 64 of 80 patients. High expression (higher staining grades) of H19 in the metastases was found in 43 of 80 patients. However, H19 expression status in the hepatic metastases did not correlate with either the length of time to development of metastasis or overall survival.

Conclusions: H19 is highly expressed in more than half of hepatic metastases derived from a range of carcinomas. Thus, these metastases may be suitable candidates for H19 DNA based treatment. Further studies are needed to determine whether H19 expression has prognostic value in metastatic liver disease using larger numbers of specific subtypes of primary carcinomas.

  • CI, confidence interval
  • IGF, insulin-like growth factor
  • H19 gene
  • hepatic metastases (from carcinomas)
  • in situ hybridisation
  • DNA based therapy
  • prognostic value

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