[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To test the hypothesis that use of the response evaluation criteria in cancer of the liver (RECICL), an improved evaluation system designed to address the limitations of the response evaluation criteria in solid tumors 1.1 (RECIST1.1) and modified RECIST (mRECIST), provides for more accurate evaluation of response of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) to treatment with sorafenib, a molecularly targeted agent, as assessed by overall survival (OS).
The therapeutic response of 156 patients with advanced HCC who had been treated with sorafenib therapy for more than 1 month was evaluated using the RECIST1.1, mRECIST, and RECICL. After categorization as showing progressive disease (PD), stable disease (SD), or objective response, the association between OS and categorization was examined using the Kaplan-Meier method to develop survival curves. The 141 cases categorized as PD or SD by the RECIST1.1, but objective response by the mRECIST and RECICL, were further analyzed for determination of the association between OS and categorization.
Only categorization using the RECICL was found to be significantly correlated with OS (p = 0.0033). Among the patients categorized as SD or PD by the RECIST1.1, reclassification by the RECICL but not the mRECIST was found to be significantly associated with OS and allowed for precise prediction of prognosis (p = 0.0066).
Only the use of the RECICL allowed for identification of a subgroup of HCC patients treated with sorafenib with improved prognosis. The RECICL should, therefore, be considered a superior system for assessment of therapeutic response.
Journal of Gastroenterology 02/2014; · 3.79 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the risk factors for local recurrence with radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) measuring ≤2 cm.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sorafenib is a molecular-targeting agent showing improved overall survival (OS) for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Although tumor dormancy, characterized by stable tumor status or stable disease (SD) without tumor regression, is a unique feature of sorafenib treatment, the contribution of SD to OS remains debatable. This study aimed to clarify the correlation between SD periods and OS in patients with HCC treated with sorafenib.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sorafenib is a multikinase inhibitor targeting Raf and protein tyrosine kinases, which are involved in cell growth and tumor angiogenesis. Sorafenib administration induces temporary inhibition of tumor growth and a decrease in arterial blood flow in a considerable number of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients. We retrospectively evaluated the association between decreased blood flow and the overall survival (OS) of HCC patients after the initiation of sorafenib therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To clarify the progression pattern of abnormal DNA methylation during the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) using a comprehensive methylation assay.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: DNA methylation-dependent transcriptional inactivation of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) is critical for the pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This study identifies potential TSGs in HCCs using methylation profiling and pharmacological unmasking of methylated TSGs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Global DNA hypomethylation is a characteristic feature of cancer cells that closely associates with chromosomal instability (CIN). However, the association between these characteristics during hepatocarcinogenesis remains unclear. Herein, we determined the relationship between hypomethylation and CIN in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) by analyzing 179 HCCs, 178 matched non-tumor livers and 23 normal liver tissues. Hypomethylation at three different repetitive DNA (rDNA) sequences and hypermethylation of 12 CpG loci, including 11 tumor suppressor gene (TSG) promoters, were quantified using MethyLight or combined bisulfite restriction analysis. Fractional allelic loss (FAL) was used as a marker for CIN, calculated by analyzing 400 microsatellite markers. Gains and losses at each chromosome were also determined using semi-quantitative microsatellite analysis. The associations between rDNA hypomethylation and FAL, as well as between TSG hypermethylation and FAL were investigated. Significantly more hypomethylation was observed in HCC tissues than in normal liver samples. Progression of hypomethylation during carcinogenesis was more prominent in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-negative cases, which was in contrast to our previous reports of significantly increased TSG methylation levels in HCV-positive tumors. Absence of liver cirrhosis and higher FAL scores were identified as independent contributors to significant hypomethylation of rDNA in HCC. Among the chromosomal alterations frequently observed in HCC, loss of 8p, which was unique in the earliest stages of hepatocarcinogenesis, was significantly associated with hypomethylation of rDNA by multivariable analysis (p = 0.0153). rDNA hypomethylation was also associated with a high FAL score regardless of tumor differentiation (p = 0.0011, well-differentiated; p = 0.0089, moderately/poorly-differentiated HCCs). We conclude that DNA hypomethylation is an important cause of CIN in the earliest step of HCC, especially in a background of non-cirrhotic liver.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(9):e72312. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: Contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) with Sonazoid® and dynamic computed tomography (CT) were used to evaluate radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Local recurrence rate was used as the gold standard of evaluation. Methods: From January 2007 to December 2011, 86 HCCs from 70 patients were treated with RFA. CEUS with Sonazoid and dynamic CT were then used to evaluate the effect of RFA. For CEUS and dynamic CT, effects were classified as follows: (1) complete ablated response with safety margin >5 mm (CRSM+); (2) complete ablated response but with safety margin <5 mm (CRSM-); (3) incomplete, residual tumor detected after treatment. Results: CEUS judged 33 cases as CRSM+, while dynamic CT identified 49 cases. None of these 33 cases from the CEUS group had local recurrences, while dynamic CT had 1 case. CEUS judged 49 cases as CRSM-, compared to 34 cases with dynamic CT. Of these, 9 cases of CEUS and 8 cases of dynamic CT showed local recurrences. Two cases diagnosed as 'incomplete' by CEUS and dynamic CT had recurrences within 1 year. Conclusion: CEUS can be used to assess the efficacy of RFA for HCC, with the potential to reduce the number of CT scans required for confirmation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the common cancers worldwide. Accurate diagnosis of tumor progression is critical for the appropriate management of HCC. Here, we established a sensitive assay to detect and quantify tumor-derived DNA in the serum of HCC patients. Methods: Aberrant methylation of the APC gene was quantified in 23 HCC patients and 8 healthy volunteers using 100 µl of serum. For sensitive detection and accurate quantification of tumor DNA, we combined seminested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with TaqMan PCR, which could amplify the APC gene regardless of the methylation status and detect the methylated and unmethylated sequences separately. The ratio of methylated to unmethylated sequences was quantified. Results: The methylated APC gene was detected in all HCC patients examined, but no healthy volunteers showed amplification of methylated sequences in serum. HCC patients with portal vein thrombosis showed a significantly higher methylated to unmethylated APC gene ratio in serum than those without portal vein thrombosis (p = 0.0029). Conclusions: Considering the strong association between the ratio of the methylated to unmethylated APC sequences in serum and the presence of portal vein thrombosis, methylation status of APC sequences could be a promising marker for improving HCC management.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives: A unique causative aspect of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a gender difference in its incidence. To determine the specific factors that contribute to a male predominance, we analyzed the clinicopathological factors, and genetic and epigenetic alterations of HCCs in male and female patients. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed three cohorts of patients: the first cohort consisted of 547 patients identified with the first event of HCC, the second cohort included 176 HCC patients, and the third 127 patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC). Results: Male patients were found to have HCC more frequently than female patients in cases of non-cirrhotic liver (p = 0.0030 by the χ(2) test), especially in hepatitis C-positive cases. However, there were no gender-specific differences in the genetic and epigenetic alterations of cancer-related genes. Deposition of iron was more severe in male CHC patients than in female patients. Conclusions: Male patients with CHC develop HCC more frequently when they have a non-cirrhotic liver than do female patients. This gender difference could be, at least partially, attributed to a different degree of iron deposition, which contributes to the development of HCC in the absence of liver cirrhosis in men with CHC.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: Increasing evidence suggests the efficacy of maintenance therapy with interferon (IFN) for chronic hepatitis C (CHC) in reducing the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The aim of this study was to determine clinical characteristics on the risk of occurrence of HCC in CHC patients receiving maintenance IFN therapy. Methods: A total of 55 patients were treated in a single center with PEG-IFNα-2a monotherapy for CHC and evaluated for variables predictive of the occurrence of HCC. Results: The cumulative incidences of HCC were 0.092, 0.117 and 0.161 at 3, 5 and 7 years, respectively. Serum ALT level (>40 IU/l) in the 6th month after commencement of IFN therapy and BMI >25 were associated with shorter time-to-HCC emergence using multivariate analysis (relative risk 16.034, p = 0.01 for ALT >40 IU/l; relative risk 6.020, p = 0.026 for BMI >25, respectively). The IL28B SNP was extracted as a significant factor for the occurrence of HCC. Conclusions: Maintenance therapy with the use of long-term low-dose PEG-IFNα-2a is effective for preventing HCC occurrence irrespective of the IL28B SNP, at least for a subset of CHC patients. The initial response of serum ALT levels and BMI provides a prognostic value for determining the risk of developing HCC later in life.