Distinction of Hepatocellular Carcinoma From Benign Hepatic Mimickers Using Glypican-3 and CD34 Immunohistochemistry

Department of Pathology, City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA 91010, USA.
American Journal of Surgical Pathology (Impact Factor: 5.15). 04/2008; 32(3):433-44. DOI: 10.1097/PAS.0b013e318158142f
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Distinguishing a well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) from normal and cirrhotic liver tissue or benign liver nodules, such as hepatic adenoma (HA) and focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH), may be very difficult in some cases, particularly in small needle core biopsies. We studied the expression of Glypican-3 (GPC3) and CD34 in 107 cases of HCC, 19 cases of HA, and 16 cases of focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH). In addition, we studied GPC3 expression in 225 cases of nonhepatic human tumors with epithelial differentiation. Ninety-four of 107 cases (88%) of HCC showed focal or diffuse cytoplasmic GPC3 staining, whereas all HA and FNH cases were GPC3-negative, and only 7 of 225 cases (3%) of nonhepatic tumors with epithelial differentiation expressed GPC3. The sensitivity and specificity of GPC3 for HCC was 88% and 97%, respectively. There were three CD34 staining patterns observed in hepatic tissue: negative, incomplete positive, and complete positive. In negative staining pattern, only blood vessels in portal triads or rare sinusoidal spaces immediately adjacent to portal tracts were positive. The negative staining pattern was seen in normal or cirrhotic liver tissue only. The complete CD34 staining pattern showed virtually all sinusoidal spaces with CD34-positive staining throughout the lesion. The complete CD34 staining pattern was seen in virtually all cases of HCC and in only some cases of HA and FNH. The incomplete CD34 staining pattern was characterized by either CD34 positivity in virtually all sinusoidal spaces in some but not all nodules or CD34 positivity in the peripheral sinusoidal spaces adjacent to portal triads. The incomplete CD34 staining pattern was seen in rare cases of HCC and in most cases of HA and FNH. We conclude that GPC3 is a very specific marker not only for differentiating HCC from nonhepatic tumors with epithelial differentiation, but also for differentiating HCC from HA and FNH. GPC3 immunoreactivity, in combination with a complete CD34 immunostaining pattern, greatly facilitates the accuracy of distinguishing between malignant hepatic lesions and benign mimickers.

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    • "Early detection of HCC is crucial and may significantly improve its outcome, since its typically late diagnosis is associated with limited treatment options and lower chances of survival [4e6]. Current diagnostic imaging of HCC based on ultrasonography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging [7] is limited as they are often incapable of detecting HCC lesions <2 cm, and of differentiating between HCC lesions and other benign liver lesions, leading to false-positive diagnoses [8]. Thus, it is imperative to develop new molecular imaging techniques which can improve the sensitivity and specificity of HCC detection. "
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    ABSTRACT: Imaging probes for early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are highly desired to overcome current diagnostic limitations which lead to poor prognosis. The membrane protein glypican-3 (GPC3) is a potential molecular target for early HCC detection as it is over-expressed in >50% of HCCs, and is associated with early hepatocarcinogenesis. We synthesized the positron emission tomography (PET) probe (89)Zr-DFO-1G12 by bioconjugating and radiolabeling the anti-GPC3 monoclonal antibody (clone 1G12) with (89)Zr, and evaluated its tumor-targeting capacity. In vitro, (89)Zr-DFO-1G12 was specifically taken up into GPC3-positive HCC cells only, but not in the GPC3-negative prostate cancer cell line (PC3). In vivo, (89)Zr-DFO-1G12 specifically accumulated in subcutaneous GPC3-positive HCC xenografts only, but not in PC3 xenografts. Importantly, (89)Zr-DFO-1G12 delineated orthotopic HCC xenografts from surrounding normal liver, with tumor/liver (T/L) ratios of 6.65 ± 1.33 for HepG2, and 4.29 ± 0.52 for Hep3B xenografts. It also delineated orthotopic xenografts derived from three GPC3-positive HCC patient specimens, with T/L ratios of 4.21 ± 0.64, 2.78 ± 0.26, and 2.31 ± 0.38 at 168 h p.i. Thus, (89)Zr-DFO-1G12 is a highly translatable probe for the specific and high contrast imaging of GPC3-positive HCCs, which may aid early detection of HCC to allow timely intervention.
    Biomaterials 05/2014; 35(25). DOI:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2014.04.089 · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    • "Moreover, all 24 HGDN from females were monoclonal regardless whether they expressed GPC3. These results support further that there is a close relationship between GPC3-positive DN in cirrhotic hepatic tissues and HCC though it remains controversial to use GPC3 to screen for premalignant hepatic lesions [13], [26], [30]. At least we can consider GPC3-positive DN, especially HGDN, to be late precancerous lesion of HCC, making it possible to monitor for the occurrence of HCC. "
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    ABSTRACT: Glypican-3 (GPC3) has been reported to be a novel serum and histochemical marker for HCC. The positivity or negativity for GPC3 in hepatic precancerous lesions, such as dysplastic nodules (DN), has also been described. Moreover, our previous studies have demonstrated that some DN in liver cirrhosis represent monoclonal hyperplasia, and confirmed their neoplastic nature. However, additional studies must be performed to investigate further the relationship between DN with GPC3 positivity and HCC. Thus, we first investigated the expression of GPC3 in 136 HCC and 103 small DN (less than 1 cm in diameter) by immunohistochemical staining and determined the clonality of 81 DN from female patients using X-chromosome inactivation mosaicism and polymorphism of androgen receptor (AR) gene. Then we examined these samples for chromosomal loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at 11 microsatellite polymorphism sites. The results demonstrated that GPC3 immunoreactivity was detected in 103 of 136 HCC (75.7%) and 19 of 103 DN (18.4%), and the positive ratio correlated with HBsAg positivity. Clonality assays showed that 15 GPC3-positive DN from female patients, including 12 high-grade DN (HGDN), and 28 (42.4%) of 66 GPC3-negative DN, were monoclonal. In addition, among 19 GPC3-positive DN, chromosomal LOH was found at loci D6S1008 (100%, 19/19), D8S262 (52.6%, 10/19) and D11S1301 (57.9%, 11/19). However, the LOH frequency in GPC3-negative DN was 5.95% (5/84), 23.8% (20/84), and 4.76% (4/84) in three loci, respectively. Thus, we concluded that GPC3-positive DN, especially GPC3-positive HGDN, was really a late premalignant lesion of HCC.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e87120. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0087120 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Negative immunoreactivity of CD34 was defined as exclusive staining of the vascular endothelium in the portal area and/or rare sinusoidal space near portal tracts. Complete CD34 immunoreactivity was defined as massive staining of the liver sinus endothelium, and incomplete CD34 immunoreactivity was defined as partial staining of the liver sinus endothelium [7] "
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    ABSTRACT: Well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) may be difficult to distinguish from a benign lesion. Glypican 3 (GPC-3) is an oncofetal protein, which has been demonstrated to be up-regulated in HCC. The aim of this study is to evaluate the diagnostic role of combined GPC-3 and CD34 immunoassaying in the distinction between HCC and benign hepatic mimickers. This study was performed on 100 cases of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded cases of hepatic focal lesions obtained from the files of pathology laboratory of our university from 2009 to 2012. The following groups were studied: group A (n = 60) (hepatocellular malignant lesions) and group B (n = 40) (Hepatocellular nonmalignant lesions). All cases were stained with GPC-3 and CD34. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were calculated for both antibodies. Glypican 3 and complete CD34 staining pattern expression in group A was significantly higher than in group B. The results of costaining showed that, in HCCs, almost all the GPC-3-positive cases had a complete CD34 staining pattern, whereas in the 40 hepatocellular nonmalignant lesions, none stained up with the 2 markers. Therefore, although the sensitivity declined (82%), the specificity and positive predictive value (PPV) of costaining reached 100% and were greater than that observed for single staining with GPC-3 (specificity, 92.5%; PPV, 94.3%) or CD34 (specificity, 97.5%; PPV, 98.3%). Our data demonstrate that GPC-3 and CD34 costaining has better diagnostic value for differentiating HCC from nonmalignant hepatocellular lesions than does single staining.
    Annals of diagnostic pathology 09/2013; 17(6). DOI:10.1016/j.anndiagpath.2013.08.001 · 1.12 Impact Factor
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