GPC3; glypican 3 (Xq26.1)

Gene Summary

Gene:GPC3; glypican 3
Aliases: SGB, DGSX, MXR7, SDYS, SGBS, OCI-5, SGBS1, GTR2-2
Summary:Cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans are composed of a membrane-associated protein core substituted with a variable number of heparan sulfate chains. Members of the glypican-related integral membrane proteoglycan family (GRIPS) contain a core protein anchored to the cytoplasmic membrane via a glycosyl phosphatidylinositol linkage. These proteins may play a role in the control of cell division and growth regulation. The protein encoded by this gene can bind to and inhibit the dipeptidyl peptidase activity of CD26, and it can induce apoptosis in certain cell types. Deletion mutations in this gene are associated with Simpson-Golabi-Behmel syndrome, also known as Simpson dysmorphia syndrome. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants. [provided by RefSeq, Sep 2009]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Updated:12 July, 2014


What does this gene/protein do?
GPC3 is implicated in:
- anatomical structure morphogenesis
- anchored to membrane
- anchored to plasma membrane
- anterior/posterior axis specification
- body morphogenesis
- bone mineralization
- branching involved in ureteric bud morphogenesis
- carbohydrate metabolic process
- cell proliferation involved in metanephros development
- chondroitin sulfate metabolic process
- coronary vasculature development
- embryonic hindlimb morphogenesis
- extracellular space
- glycosaminoglycan biosynthetic process
- glycosaminoglycan catabolic process
- glycosaminoglycan metabolic process
- Golgi lumen
- heparan sulfate proteoglycan binding
- integral to plasma membrane
- lung development
- lysosomal lumen
- lysosome
- mesenchymal cell proliferation involved in ureteric bud development
- mesonephric duct morphogenesis
- negative regulation of canonical Wnt receptor signaling pathway
- negative regulation of epithelial cell proliferation
- negative regulation of growth
- negative regulation of smoothened signaling pathway
- osteoclast differentiation
- peptidyl-dipeptidase inhibitor activity
- plasma membrane
- positive regulation of BMP signaling pathway
- positive regulation of endocytosis
- positive regulation of glucose import
- positive regulation of protein catabolic process
- positive regulation of smoothened signaling pathway
- positive regulation of Wnt receptor signaling pathway, planar cell polarity pathway
- protein binding
- proteinaceous extracellular matrix
- small molecule metabolic process
Data from Gene Ontology via CGAP

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1989-2014)
Graph generated 12 July 2014 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Tumor Markers
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Wilms Tumour
  • X Chromosome
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Liver Cancer
  • GPC3
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Messenger RNA
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Translocation
  • Transcription
  • Tumor Suppressor Gene
  • Staging
  • DNA Primers
  • Western Blotting
  • Transfection
  • DNA Methylation
  • Breast Cancer
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Mutation
  • Lung Cancer
  • Smoking
  • Promoter Regions
  • DNA Sequence Analysis
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Differential Diagnosis
  • Glypicans
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Expression
  • Immunohistochemistry
Tag cloud generated 12 July, 2014 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex


GPC3 and Liver Cancer

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GPC3 and Lung Cancer

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GPC3 targeted Immunotherapy Therapy

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GPC3 expression in Wilms' Tumor

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GPC3 and Breast Cancer

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GPC3 and Thyroid Cancer

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GPC3 Expression in Neuroblastoma

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Related Links

Latest Publications: GPC3 (cancer-related)

Li SQ, Lin J, Qi CY, et al.
GPC3 DNA vaccine elicits potent cellular antitumor immunity against HCC in mice.
Hepatogastroenterology. 2014 Mar-Apr; 61(130):278-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: DNA-based tumor vaccine immunotherapy which elicits exclusively cellular immune response against cancer cells in an antigen-specific fashion has been documented to be an effective treatment for cancers in the past decade. Glypican 3 (GPC3) is especially overexpressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but not in benign liver lesions and normal adult tissues, which makes it an ideal tumor antigen designed for HCC immunotherapy.
METHODOLOGY: We constructed a GPC3 cDNA vaccine by using a recombinant plasmid encoding murine GPC3 cDNA for treatment of HCC in a C57BL/6 mouse model. The specificity and effectiveness of anti-tumor immunity were assessed in vitro and in vivo studies.
RESULTS: In vitro studies showed that GPC3 DNA vaccine induced potent specific cytotoxic T lymphoctyes (CTLs) immune response against C57BL/6 homogenous HCC cell line Hepa 1-6 (GPC3+). However, there was no detectable immune response against GPC3-negative SP 2/0 cells and Sk-Hep-1 cells. In vivo study indicated that GPC3 DNA vaccine could significantly suppress homogenous tumor growth and prolong survival time of tumor bearing mice.
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated the first time that the GPC3 DNA vaccine could elicit specific and effective cellular antitumor immunity against GPC3 HCC. This may provide an alternative option for immunotherapy of HCC.

Related: Liver Cancer

Marquez BV, Zheleznyak A, Lapi SE
Glypican-3-targeted 89Zr PET imaging of hepatocellular carcinoma: where antibody imaging dares to tread.
J Nucl Med. 2014; 55(5):708-9 [PubMed] Related Publications

Related: Liver Cancer

Sham JG, Kievit FM, Grierson JR, et al.
Glypican-3-targeted 89Zr PET imaging of hepatocellular carcinoma.
J Nucl Med. 2014; 55(5):799-804 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a devastating malignancy in which imperfect imaging plays a primary role in diagnosis. Glypican-3 (GPC3) is an HCC-specific cell surface proteoglycan overexpressed in most HCCs. This paper presents the use of (89)Zr-conjugated monoclonal antibody against GPC3 ((89)Zr-αGPC3) for intrahepatic tumor localization using PET.
METHODS: Polymerase chain reaction confirmed relative GPC3 expression in cell lines. In vitro binding, in vivo biodistribution, and small-animal PET studies were performed on GPC3-expressing HepG2 and non-GPC3-expressing HLF and RH7777 cells and orthotopic xenografts.
RESULTS: (89)Zr-αGPC3 demonstrated antibody-dependent, antigen-specific tumor binding. HepG2 liver tumors exhibited high peak uptake (836.6 ± 86.6 percentage injected dose [%ID]/g) compared with background liver (27.5 ± 1.6 %ID/g). Tumor-to-liver contrast ratio was high and peaked at 32.5. The smallest HepG2 tumor (<1 mm) showed lower peak uptake (42.5 ± 6.4 %ID/g) and tumor-to-liver contrast (1.57) but was still clearly visible on PET. Day 7 tissue activity was still substantial in HepG2 tumors (466.4 ± 87.6 %ID/g) compared with control RH7777 tumors (3.9 ± 1.3 %ID/g, P < 0.01), indicating antigen specificity by (89)Zr-αGPC3. HepG2 tumor treated with unlabeled αGPC3 or heat-denatured (89)Zr-αGPC3 demonstrated tumor activity (2.1 %ID/g) comparable to that of control xenografts, confirming antibody dependency.
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated the feasibility of using (89)Zr-αGPC3 to image HCC in the liver, as well as the qualitative determination of GPC3 expression via small-animal PET. The ability to clarify the identity of small liver lesions with an HCC-specific PET probe would provide clinicians with vital information that could significantly alter patient management, warranting further investigation for clinical translation.

Related: Monoclonal Antibodies Liver Cancer

Ikeda M, Ohkawa S, Okusaka T, et al.
Japanese phase I study of GC33, a humanized antibody against glypican-3 for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma.
Cancer Sci. 2014; 105(4):455-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
GC33 is a humanized mAb against human glypican-3 (GPC3). In the first-in-human study carried out in the USA, GC33 was well tolerated and showed preliminary antitumor activity in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. This study aimed to assess the safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetic characteristics of GC33 in Japanese patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. The study design was a conventional 3 + 3 dose-escalation design to determine the maximum tolerated dose of GC33 given i.v. at 5, 10, or 20 mg/kg weekly. Immunohistochemistry was carried out on tumor biopsies to evaluate GPC3 expression. Thirteen patients were enrolled across the three dose levels, and no patients observed any dose-limiting toxicity up to the highest planned dose of 20 mg/kg. The most common adverse events were decreased lymphocyte count, decreased natural killer cell count, increased C-reactive protein, and pyrexia. Grade 3 adverse events (increased blood pressure, decreased lymphocyte count, and decreased platelet count) were observed in two or more patients. The AUCinf showed a dose-proportional increase from the 5 mg/kg dose group to the 20 mg/kg dose group. The trough concentrations of GC33 appeared to reach a steady state after the fourth to the sixth dose. Seven of the 13 patients showed stable disease, the other six showed progressive disease. Furthermore, three patients showed long-term stable disease of more than 5 months. In conclusion, GC33 given at up to 20 mg/kg weekly was well tolerated in Japanese patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma.

Related: Monoclonal Antibodies Liver Cancer

Magistri P, Leonard SY, Tang CM, et al.
The glypican 3 hepatocellular carcinoma marker regulates human hepatic stellate cells via Hedgehog signaling.
J Surg Res. 2014; 187(2):377-85 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) frequently represents two diseases as it often arises in the setting of cirrhosis caused by the proliferation and activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). Previously, we identified that Hedgehog (Hh) signaling regulates HSC viability and fibrinogenesis, as well as HCC tumorigenesis. Although it is increasingly recognized that HSCs and HCCs communicate via paracrine signaling, Hh's role in this process is just emerging. We hypothesized that a secreted HCC tumor marker and Hh mediator, glypican 3 (GPC3), may regulate HSC.
METHODS: Using three human HCC lines (Hep3B, PLC/PRF/5 and SK-Hep-1) and one Hh-responsive human HSC line (LX-2), we developed two in vitro models of HCC-to-HSC paracrine signaling using a Transwell coculture system and HCC-conditioned media. We then evaluated the effects of these models, as well as GPC3, on HSC viability and gene expression.
RESULTS: Using our coculture and conditioned media models, we demonstrate that the three HCC lines decrease HSC viability. Furthermore, we demonstrate that recombinant GPC3 dose-dependently decreases the LX-2 viability while inhibiting the expression of Hh target genes that regulate HSC viability. Finally, GPC3's inhibitory effects on cell viability and Hh target gene expression are partially abrogated by heparin, a competitor for GPC3 binding.
CONCLUSIONS: For the first time, we show that GPC3, an HCC biomarker and Hh mediator, regulates human HSC viability by regulating Hh signaling. This expands on existing data suggesting a role for tumor-stroma interactions in the liver and suggests that GPC3 plays a role in this process.

Related: Apoptosis Liver Cancer Signal Transduction

Saad Y, El-Serafy M, Eldin MS, et al.
New genetic markers for diagnosis of hepatitis C related hepatocellular carcinoma in Egyptian patients.
J Gastrointestin Liver Dis. 2013; 22(4):419-25 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND AIM: Early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) enhances effective and curative management. New genetic markers with distinct diagnostic ability are required. Aim: determine the expression of GPC3, PEG10, SERPINI1, MK and QP-C in the peripheral blood of HCC patients.
METHODS: 74 HCV patients were recruited and divided into three groups; chronic hepatitis (I), liver cirrhosis (II) and HCC (III). Demographics, laboratory and imaging data were collected. Child score and metastatic work up were completed. The expression of the five candidate genes in the peripheral blood was performed by qRT-PCR assay.
RESULTS: Groups were gender matched, age in group I was significantly lower than in groups II and III (37.7 vs 50.4 and 55.6, p value <0.005). CHILD score; group II and III A/B/C = (7/5/6) and (20/6/3). AFP was significantly higher in group III than I and II (204 vs 3.9 and 6.9, p < 0.01). In HCC group 69% of the lesions were < 5 cm, and had 1-2 nodules; 14% had metastases. GPC3, PEG10, SERPINI1 and MK mRNA were significantly higher in the HCC group compared to the other groups while QP-C mRNA was higher in chronic hepatitis C group compared to other groups. The gene expression values in HCC patients were independent of the tumor size, AFP levels or extrahepatic metastasis. Combined measurement of the five gene markers showed 100% sensitivity and 33% specificity, 48% PPV and 100% NPV.
CONCLUSION: GPC3, PEG10, SERPINI1 and MK are genetic markers that can represent a useful tool for detection of HCC.

Related: Cancer Screening and Early Detection Liver Cancer

Bao L, Chandra PK, Moroz K, et al.
Impaired autophagy response in human hepatocellular carcinoma.
Exp Mol Pathol. 2014; 96(2):149-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Autophagy is a cellular lysosomal degradation mechanism that has been implicated in chronic liver diseases and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Association of autophagy defect with the development of human HCC has been shown in transgenic mouse model.
AIM: We performed this study to verify whether a defect in autophagy would play a role in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
METHODS: Archival tissue sections of 20 patients with HCC with or without hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection were studied. All slides were immunostained using monoclonal antibodies to p62 and glypican-3 with appropriate positive and negative controls. The expression of p62 and glycican-3 in the HCC and the surrounding non-tumor was semiquantitated. The cytoplasmic staining was graded as negative, weak or strong.
RESULTS: Positive p62 staining was found in 20 out of 20 (100%) HCCs and negative staining was observed in 20 out of 20 non-tumor areas and cirrhotic nodules. Positive glypican-3 staining was found in 70% of HCCs and negative staining was seen in all non-tumor areas. An autophagy defect leading to increased expression of p62 and glypican-3 was also seen in the HCC cell line (Huh-7.5), but not in the primary human hepatocytes. Activation of cellular autophagy in Huh-7.5 cells efficiently cleared p62 and glypican-3 expression and inhibition of autophagy induced the expression of p62 and glypican-3.
CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that p62 is increased in HCC compared to the surrounding non-tumorous liver tissue suggesting that human HCCs are autophagy defective. We provide further evidence that glypican-3 expression in HCC may also be related to defective autophagy. Our study indicates that p62 immunostain may represent a novel marker for HCC.

Related: Liver Cancer

Melson J, Li Y, Cassinotti E, et al.
Commonality and differences of methylation signatures in the plasma of patients with pancreatic cancer and colorectal cancer.
Int J Cancer. 2014; 134(11):2656-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
Profiling of DNA methylation status of specific genes is a way to screen for colorectal cancer (CRC) and pancreatic cancer (PC) in blood. The commonality of methylation status of cancer-related tumor suppressor genes between CRC and PC is largely unknown. Methylation status of 56 cancer-related genes was compared in plasma of patients in the following cohorts: CRC, PC and healthy controls. Cross validation determined the best model by area under ROC curve (AUC) to differentiate cancer methylation profiles from controls. Optimal preferential gene methylation signatures were derived to differentiate either cancer (CRC or PC) from controls. For CRC alone, a three gene signature (CYCD2, HIC and VHL) had an AUC 0.9310, sensitivity (Sens) = 0.826, specificity (Spec) = 0.9383. For PC alone, an optimal signature consisted of five genes (VHL, MYF3, TMS, GPC3 and SRBC), AUC 0.848; Sens = 0.807, Spec = 0.666. Combined PC and CRC signature or "combined cancer signature" was derived to differentiate either CRC and PC from controls (MDR1, SRBC, VHL, MUC2, RB1, SYK and GPC3) AUC = 0.8177, Sens = 0.6316 Spec = 0.840. In a validation cohort, N = 10 CRC patients, the optimal CRC signature (CYCD2, HIC and VHL) had AUC 0.900. In all derived signatures (CRC, PC and combined cancer signature) the optimal panel used preferential VHL methylation. In conclusion, CRC and PC differ in specific genes methylated in plasma other than VHL. Preferential methylation of VHL is shared in the optimal signature for CRC alone, PC alone and combined PC and CRC. Future investigations may identify additional methylation markers informative for the presence of both CRC and PC.

Related: Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer Cancer of the Pancreas Pancreatic Cancer

Gailey MP, Bellizzi AM
Immunohistochemistry for the novel markers glypican 3, PAX8, and p40 (ΔNp63) in squamous cell and urothelial carcinoma.
Am J Clin Pathol. 2013; 140(6):872-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To examine squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) from diverse anatomic sites and invasive urothelial carcinomas (UCs) for expression of the oncofetal antigen glypican 3 (GPC3), the paired box transcription factor PAX8, and the ΔN isoform of p63 (p40).
METHODS: Immunohistochemistry for GPC3, PAX8, and p40 was performed on whole sections of 107 SCCs from 11 anatomic sites and 49 UCs; evaluation included extent and intensity of staining.
RESULTS: GPC3 was detected in 20% of SCCs and 12% of UCs and PAX8 in 3% of SCCs, limited to the uterine cervix, and 10% of UCs. p40 Was found in 99% of SCCs and 96% of UCs.
CONCLUSIONS: GPC3 expression is frequent in SCC/UC, awareness of which should guard against an incorrect diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma, while PAX8, limited in distribution, may have some use in suggesting a cervical or urothelial tract origin in a metastatic squamotransitional carcinoma of unknown primary. There is no drop-off in sensitivity for the diagnoses of SCC or UC with ΔNp63-specific immunohistochemistry, and if this performance can be extended to other applications, p40 may supplant the dominant "pan-p63" antibody clone.

Related: Transitional Cell Cancer of the Renal Pelvis and Ureter Bladder Cancer Bladder Cancer - Molecular Biology PAX8 gene

Zaakook M, Ayoub M, Sinna EA, El-Sheikh S
Role of glypican-3 immunocytochemistry in differentiating hepatocellular carcinoma from metastatic carcinoma of the liver utilizing fine needle aspiration cytology.
J Egypt Natl Canc Inst. 2013; 25(4):173-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Evaluation of the sensitivity and specificity of glypican3 (GPC3) in differentiating hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) from metastatic carcinomas of the liver in cell block material.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Sixty cell blocks were prepared from liver FNAs performed in the radiodiagnosis department, National Cancer Institute, in the period between August 2011 and May 2012. Cases diagnosed as hepatocellular carcinoma, or metastatic carcinoma were included in the study. Cell block sections were stained with anti GPC-3. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values, of GPC3 were calculated. The final diagnosis was based on the triple approach of clinical data, radiological findings, as well as cytomorphologic features aided by GPC-3 results.
RESULTS: 70% of cases were diagnosed as HCC, and 30% as metastatic carcinomas. 95.2% of HCC cases expressed GPC3. Poorly differentiated cases showed the highest GPC3 sensitivity (100%), followed by moderately differentiated cases (96.5%), while well differentiated cases expressed GPC3 in 90% of cases. 83.3% of metastatic carcinomas were negative for GPC3. In this study, sensitivity of GPC-3 in HCC was 95.2%, specificity was 83.3%, positive and negative predictive values were 93% and 88.2% respectively, and total accuracy was 91.7%.
CONCLUSION: Immunocytochemical staining for GPC3 in cell block material is a highly sensitive and specific method capable of distinguishing HCC from the vast majority of metastatic carcinomas of the liver.

Related: Liver Cancer

Ibrahim GH, Mahmoud MA, Aly NM
Evaluation of circulating Transforming growth factor-beta1, Glypican-3 and Golgi protein-73 mRNAs expression as predictive markers for hepatocellular carcinoma in Egyptian patients.
Mol Biol Rep. 2013; 40(12):7069-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) incidence is fast-growing especially in countries highly prevalent with viral hepatitis. Its poor prognosis has driven the research toward the discovery of sensitive markers for early detection. We investigated the usefulness of serum Transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-β1), Glypican-3 (GPC3), and Golgi protein-73 (GP73) mRNAs as early biomarkers in HCC Egyptian patients chronically infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) in comparison with serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP). Using semi-quantitative RT-PCR and densitometry analysis, circulating TGF-β1, GPC3, and GP73 mRNAs expressions were estimated in 15 healthy adults, 15 chronic HCV (CHC) patients and 25 HCC patients. Serum GP73 expression percentage in HCC group was significantly higher than controls (100 vs. 40 %, P ≤ 0.001) and when compared to elevated serum AFP levels (100 vs. 36 %, P ≤ 0.001). TGF-β1 and GP73 expression means were also higher in HCC patients than controls and CHC patients (P < 0.05). GPC3 expression showed higher frequency in CHC patients compared to HCC group (80 vs. 28 %, P = 0.0016). According to the study cutoffs, serum TGF-β1 and GP73 mRNAs showed 60 and 96 % sensitivities for HCC diagnosis with 100 and 95 % specificities, respectively. Furthermore, elevated GP73 mRNA expression levels in early HCC were significantly increased compared to those of TGF-β1 mRNA and to high serum AFP (92.3 vs. 53.8 and 23.1 %; P = 0.03 and 0.0004, respectively). In conclusion, circulating TGF-β1 and GP73 mRNAs could be useful biomarkers for HCV-induced HCC diagnosis. Moreover, serum GP73 mRNA is sensitive for early cancer detection than AFP and TGF-β1 mRNA. However, these results need further validation studies.

Related: Liver Cancer TGFB1

Feng M, Ho M
Glypican-3 antibodies: a new therapeutic target for liver cancer.
FEBS Lett. 2014; 588(2):377-82 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/01/2015 Related Publications
Glypican-3 (GPC3) is an emerging therapeutic target in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), even though the biological function of GPC3 remains elusive. Currently human (MDX-1414 and HN3) and humanized mouse (GC33 and YP7) antibodies that target GPC3 for HCC treatment are under different stages of preclinical or clinical development. Humanized mouse antibody GC33 is being evaluated in a phase II clinical trial. Human antibodies MDX-1414 and HN3 are under different stages of preclinical evaluation. Here, we summarize current evidence for GPC3 as a new target in liver cancer, discuss both its oncogenic function and its mode of actions for current antibodies, and evaluate potential challenges for GPC3-targeted anti-cancer therapies.

Related: Liver Cancer

Yu DD, Yao M, Chen J, et al.
[Short hairpin RNA mediated glypican-3 silencing inhibits hepatoma cell invasiveness and disrupts molecular pathways of angiogenesis].
Zhonghua Gan Zang Bing Za Zhi. 2013; 21(6):452-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To construct glypican-3 (GPC-3) short hairpin RNA (shRNA) and investigate the effects of GPC-3 transcription silencing on hepatoma cell invasion and angiogenesis mechanisms.
METHODS: GPC-3-specific shRNA and non-target control shRNA were constructed and transfected into the human hepatoma cell lines HepG2, MHCC-97H, and Huh7. shRNA-mediated silencing of GPC-3 expression was confirmed at the mRNA and protein levels by fluorescence quantitative reverse transcription (FQRT)-PCR and western blotting, respectively. The effect of silenced GPC-3 expression on cell proliferation was detected by EdU and sulforhodamine B assays, on migration by wound healing (scratch) assay, on invasion by transwell chamber assay, and on apoptosis by luminescence assay of caspase-3/7 activity. The effect of silenced GPC-3 expression on angiogenesis-related signaling factors was detected by FQRT-PCR (for the glioma-associated oncogene homolog-1 hedgehog signaling factor, GLI1, and the beta-catenin Wnt signaling factor, b-catenin), immunofluorescent staining (for the insulin-like growth factor-II, IGF-II), and ELISA (for the vascular endothelial growth factor, VEGF). Pairwise comparisons were made by the independent sample t-test, and multiple comparisons were made by one-way ANOVA.
RESULTS: In all cell lines, transfection with the GPC-3-specific shRNA significantly reduced GPC-3 mRNA levels (% reduction as compared to the non-target control shRNA: HepG2, 89.2+/-6.0%, t = -25.753, P less than 0.001; MHCC-97H, 75.3+/-4.9%, t = -26.487, P less than 0.001; Huh7, 73.6+/-4.6%, t = -27.607, P less than 0.001); the GPC-3 protein levels were similarly reduced. The GPC-3 shRNA-silenced cells showed significantly reduced proliferative, migratory and invasive capacities, as well as significantly increased apoptosis. The shRNA-mediated GPC-3 silencing was accompanied by significant down-regulation of b-catenin mRNA (HepG2, 46.9+/-0.6%; MHCC-97H, 67.5+/-2.7%; Huh7, 56.3+/-8.4%) and significant up-regulation of GLI1 mRNA (HepG2, 49.2+/-28.6%; MHCC-97H, 54.6+/-24.4%; Huh7, 31.6+/-15.7%). At 72 h after transfection, the HepG2 cells showed significant down-regulation of VEGF protein (54.3+/-1.5%, t = 46.746, P less than 0.001).
CONCLUSION: GPC-3 contributes to migration, invasion, angiogenesis, and apoptosis of hepatoma cells, possibly through its interactions with the Wnt/b-catenin and Hedgehog signaling pathways. GPC-3 may represent a useful target for gene silencing by molecular-based therapies to treat hepatocellular carcinoma.

Related: Apoptosis Liver Cancer Angiogenesis and Cancer Signal Transduction VEGFA

Flecken T, Schmidt N, Hild S, et al.
Immunodominance and functional alterations of tumor-associated antigen-specific CD8+ T-cell responses in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Hepatology. 2014; 59(4):1415-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most common malignancy worldwide with a poor prognosis and limited therapeutic options. To aid the development of novel immunological interventions, we studied the breadth, frequency, and tumor-infiltration of naturally occurring CD8(+) T-cell responses targeting several tumor-associated antigens (TAA). We used overlapping peptides spanning the entire alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), glypican-3 (GPC-3), melanoma-associated gene-A1 (MAGE-A1) and New York-esophageal squamous cell carcinoma-1 (NY-ESO-1) proteins and major-histocompatibility-complex-class-I-tetramers specific for epitopes of MAGE-A1 and NY-ESO-1 to analyze TAA-specific CD8(+) T-cell responses in a large cohort of HCC patients. After nonspecific expansion in vitro, we detected interferon-γ (IFN-γ)-producing CD8(+) T cells specific for all four TAA in the periphery as well as in liver and tumor tissue. These CD8(+) T-cell responses displayed clear immunodominance patterns within each TAA, but no consistent hierarchy was observed between different TAA. Importantly, the response breadth was highest in early-stage HCC and associated with patient survival. After antigen-specific expansion, TAA-specific CD8(+) T cells were detectable by tetramer staining but impaired in their ability to produce IFN-γ. Furthermore, regulatory T cells (Treg) were increased in HCC lesions. Depletion of Treg from cultures improved TAA-specific CD8(+) T-cell proliferation but did not restore IFN-γ-production. Conclusion: Naturally occurring TAA-specific CD8(+) T-cell responses are present in patients with HCC and therefore constitute part of the normal T-cell repertoire. Moreover, the presence of these responses correlates with patient survival. However, the observation of impaired IFN-γ production suggests that the efficacy of such responses is functionally limited. These findings support the development of strategies that aim to enhance the total TAA-specific CD8(+) T-cell response by therapeutic boosting and/or specificity diversification. However, further research will be required to help unlock the full potential of TAA-specific CD8(+) T-cell responses.

Related: Liver Cancer

Xylinas E, Cha EK, Khani F, et al.
Association of oncofetal protein expression with clinical outcomes in patients with urothelial carcinoma of the bladder.
J Urol. 2014; 191(3):830-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Oncofetal proteins are expressed in the developing embryo. Oncofetal protein expression correlates with the clinical outcome of nonmuscle invasive bladder urothelial carcinoma. IMP3, MAGE-A, glypican-3 and TPBG are oncofetal proteins that have not been well characterized in urothelial carcinoma of the bladder.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We investigated the expression of these 4 proteins and their association with clinical outcomes using tissue microarrays from 384 consecutive patients treated with radical cystectomy between 1988 and 2003 at 1 academic center. We stained for IMP3, MAGE-A, glypican-3 and TPBG. Univariable and multivariable Cox regression analyses were done to evaluate the association of oncofetal protein expression with disease recurrence and cancer specific mortality.
RESULTS: IMP3, MAGE-A, glypican-3 and TPBG were expressed in 39.5%, 45%, 6% and 85% of urothelial bladder carcinomas, respectively. Expression was tumor specific and did not correlate with pathological features except for TPBG. At a median followup of 128 months 176 patients (46%) experienced disease recurrence, 175 (45.5%) had died of the disease and 96 (27.5%) had died of another cause. On univariable analysis IMP3 and MAGE-A expression was associated with an increased risk of disease recurrence (p <0.001 and 0.03) and cancer specific mortality (p = 0.004 and 0.03, respectively). On multivariable Cox regression analysis adjusted for the effects of standard clinicopathological features IMP3 and MAGE-A expression was independently associated with disease recurrence (p = 0.004, HR 1.55, 95% CI 1.15-2.11 and p = 0.02, HR 1.44, 95% CI 1.05-1.99, respectively) but not with cancer specific mortality.
CONCLUSIONS: Oncofetal proteins are commonly and differentially expressed in urothelial carcinoma of the bladder compared to normal urothelium. IMP3 and MAGE-A expression was associated with disease recurrence and cancer specific mortality but glypican-3 and TPBG expression was not.

Related: Transitional Cell Cancer of the Renal Pelvis and Ureter Bladder Cancer Bladder Cancer - Molecular Biology MAGEA3

Tada Y, Yoshikawa T, Shimomura M, et al.
Analysis of cytotoxic T lymphocytes from a patient with hepatocellular carcinoma who showed a clinical response to vaccination with a glypican‑3‑derived peptide.
Int J Oncol. 2013; 43(4):1019-26 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/01/2015 Related Publications
Glypican-3 (GPC3), which is a carcinoembryonic antigen, is overexpressed in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Previously, we performed a phase I clinical trial of GPC3‑derived peptide vaccination in patients with advanced HCC, and reported that GPC3 peptide vaccination is safe and has clinical efficacy. Moreover, we proposed that a peptide‑specific CTL response is a predictive marker of overall survival in patients with HCC who receive peptide vaccination. In this study, we established GPC3‑derived peptide-specific CTL clones from the PBMCs of an HLA-A*02:07-positive patient with HCC who was vaccinated with an HLA-A2-restricted GPC3 peptide vaccine and showed a clinical response in the phase I clinical trial. Established CTL clones were analyzed using the IFN-γ ELISPOT assay and a cytotoxicity assay. GPC3 peptide-specific CTL clones were established successfully from the PBMCs of the patient. One CTL clone showed cytotoxicity against cancer cell lines that expressed endogenously the GPC3 peptide. The results suggest that CTLs have high avidity, and that natural antigen-specific killing activity against tumor cells can be induced in a patient with HCC who shows a clinical response to vaccination with the GPC3144-152 peptide.

Related: Liver Cancer

Bai S, Wei S, Pasha TL, et al.
Immunohistochemical studies of metastatic germ-cell tumors in retroperitoneal dissection specimens: a sensitive and specific panel.
Int J Surg Pathol. 2013; 21(4):342-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Germ-cell tumors (GCTs) are the most common malignancies in adolescent and young men. These tumors are highly treatable, even at an advanced stage; therefore, accurate diagnosis is imperative. In this study, we evaluated immunohistochemical stains for SALL4, NANOG, glypican-3 (GPC3), D2-40, and CD30 with adequate control in retroperitoneal dissection specimens under the same laboratory conditions. The study groups included 31 cases of metastatic testicular GCTs with the following components: 11 seminomas, 14 embryonal carcinoma (ECs), 12 yolk sac tumor (YSTs), 8 teratomas, 10 cases of metastatic melanomas, 14 cases of malignant lymphomas, and 11 cases of metastatic, poorly differentiated carcinoma. SALL4 showed diffuse nuclear labeling for all seminomas, ECs, and YSTs. NANOG showed diffuse nuclear positivity in all seminomas and ECs. Metastatic carcinomas, melanomas, and malignant lymphomas were negative for these 2 markers. Gypican-3, D2-40, and CD30 showed sensitive staining for YSTs, seminomas, and ECs, respectively. In conclusion, SALL4 and NANOG are sensitive and specific markers for GCTs. GPC3, D2-40, and CD30 are sensitive but not specific for individual components of GCTs and may be useful in aiding in the differential diagnosis for the individual component of GCTs when the identity of GCT is established.

Liang J, Ding T, Guo ZW, et al.
Expression pattern of tumour-associated antigens in hepatocellular carcinoma: association with immune infiltration and disease progression.
Br J Cancer. 2013; 109(4):1031-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/08/2014 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The distinct expression pattern of tumour-associated antigens (TAAs) might be a critical reason for the inefficacy of immunity-based treatments and heterogeneous postsurgical recovery in patients with solid tumours, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, little is known about the clinical value of the coexpression patterns of multiple TAAs.
METHODS: We determined the expression of multiple TAAs with identified immunogenicity (GPC3, AFP, SSX-2, NY-ESO-1, EpCAM, midkine) and the density of tumour-infiltrating immune cells by immunohistochemistry in a panel of 362 primary HCC patients. We evaluated the association between the TAAs, immune cell infiltration, clinicopathological parameters, and prognosis.
RESULTS: Patients who coexpressed more TAAs had better prognosis (P<0.00001, overall survival). The integrated pattern of TAA was associated with good differentiation and small tumour size, and with more CD57(+) natural killer and CD20(+) B-cell infiltration (P<0.05). Multivariate Cox proportional hazards analysis identified the TAA index as an independent prognostic indicator (hazard ratio 0.625; 95% confidence interval 0.467-0.837; P=0.002), and could further predict patient prognosis in collaboration with local immune infiltration.
CONCLUSION: Our results could provide new evidence for the improvement of prognostic molecular signatures in HCC, and a novel rationale for patient enrolment in future immunotherapeutic trials and/or clinical treatments.

Related: Liver Cancer AFP CTAG1B (CTAG, NY-ESO-1) EPCAM

Nault JC, Guyot E, Laguillier C, et al.
Serum proteoglycans as prognostic biomarkers of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013; 22(8):1343-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Proteoglycans are involved in neoangiogenesis and transduction of oncogenic signals, two hallmarks of carcinogenesis.
METHODS: This study sought to assess the prognostic value of serum levels of three proteoglycans (endocan, syndecan-1, and glypican-3) and VEGF in 295 patients with alcoholic cirrhosis: 170 without hepatocellular carcinoma, 58 with early hepatocellular carcinoma, and 67 with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma at inclusion. We analyzed the association between proteoglycan levels and prognosis using Kaplan-Meier and Cox methods.
RESULTS: Serum levels of the three proteoglycans and VEGF were increased in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma compared with those without hepatocellular carcinoma or with early hepatocellular carcinoma. In multivariate analysis, high levels of serum endocan (>5 ng/mL) were independently associated with death [HR, 2.84; 95% confidence interval (CI,) 1.18-6.84; P = 0.02], but not with hepatocellular carcinoma occurrence, in patients without hepatocellular carcinoma at baseline. High serum endocan (>5 ng/mL) and syndecan-1 (>50 ng/mL) levels were significantly associated with greater risk of tumor recurrence (P = 0.025) in patients with early hepatocellular carcinoma treated by radiofrequency ablation. In patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, high serum levels of endocan (P = 0.004) and syndecan-1 (P = 0.006) were significantly associated with less favorable overall survival. However, only a high level of serum syndecan-1 (>50 ng/mL) was independently associated with greater risk of death (HR, 6.21 95% CI, 1.90-20.30; P = 0.0025).
CONCLUSION: Serum endocan and syndecan-1 are easily assessable prognostic serum biomarkers of overall survival in alcoholic cirrhosis with and without hepatocellular carcinoma.
IMPACT: These new biomarkers will be useful to manage patients with hepatocellular carcinoma developed on alcoholic cirrhosis.

Related: Liver Cancer

Yoneda N, Matsui O, Kitao A, et al.
Hypervascular hepatocellular carcinomas showing hyperintensity on hepatobiliary phase of gadoxetic acid-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging: a possible subtype with mature hepatocyte nature.
Jpn J Radiol. 2013; 31(7):480-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: We evaluated molecular features of hypervascular hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) that shows iso- or hyperintensity (hyperintense HCC) in the hepatobiliary phase (HB phase) of gadoxetic acid-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (EOB-MRI).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We investigated 89 surgically resected cases. Patients were divided into two groups according to the signal intensity in the HB phase of EOB-MRI: hyperintense HCCs (n = 18) and hypointense HCCs (n = 71). We performed immunohistochemical staining for uptake transporter of gadoxetic acid: organic anion transporter polypeptides (OATP8); tumor markers: alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and protein induced by vitamin K absence or antagonist II (PIVKA-II); hepatic stem cell markers: epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM), cytokeratin 19 (CK19), and neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM); biliary marker: CK7; hepatocyte marker: hepatocyte paraffin 1 (HepPar1); markers of HCC differentiation: glypican-3; signaling: beta-catenin, and the respective grade was semiquantitatively determined.
RESULTS: Histopathologically, hyperintense HCCs showed significantly weaker expression of AFP (p < 0.05), PIVKA-II (p < 0.01), EpCAM (p < 0.005), glypican-3 (p < 0.005) relative to the hypointense HCCs, whereas OATP8 (p < 0.0001), HepPar1 (p < 0.05), and beta-catenin (p < 0.001) were overexpressed in hyperintense HCCs compared with hypointense HCCs.
CONCLUSION: Hyperintense HCC expressed OATP8 and showed a feature of mature hepatocytes with a weak expression of stem cell characteristics immunohistochemically. In addition, this type of HCC demonstrated a weaker expression of the poorer prognosis markers including, AFP, PIVKA-II, EpCAM, CK19, and glypican-3.

Related: Liver Cancer

Patra S, Vij M, Kota V, et al.
Pigmented perivascular epithelioid cell tumor of the liver: report of a rare case with brief review of literature.
J Cancer Res Ther. 2013 Apr-Jun; 9(2):305-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
The perivascular epithelioid cell tumor (PEComa) family of tumors includes angiomyolipoma, lymphangioleiomyomatosis, clear cell sugar tumor of the lung, clear cell myomelanocytic tumor of the falciform ligament/ligamentum teres, and rare clear cell tumors of other anatomical sites (PEComas-NOS). Among the PEComas-NOS, pigmented variants are extremely rare. The case concerns a 50-year-old female who presented with pain in right hypochondrium. The resected specimen included a 24 × 18 × 9 cm mass. The tumor was histologically characterized by both spindle and epithelioid cells with round to oval nuclei and clear to eosinophilic cytoplasm containing abundant melanin pigment. The stroma demonstrated intervening, thin, fibrovascular septa. Immunohistochemically, the tumor cells were strongly positive for HMB-45, weak positive for smooth muscle actin (SMA), and negative for Hep Par 1, Glypican 3, MUM-1, and S-100 protein. The patient had no evidence of disease 24 months after surgery. Pathologists and clinicians should know about the existence of pigmented perivascular epithelioid cell tumor of the liver.

Related: Liver Cancer

Xu C, Yan Z, Zhou L, Wang Y
A comparison of glypican-3 with alpha-fetoprotein as a serum marker for hepatocellular carcinoma: a meta-analysis.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2013; 139(8):1417-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUNDS: Glypican-3(GPC3) has been reported as one of the most promising serum markers for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), while several studies have conflicting results for the diagnostic accuracy between GPC3 and alpha-fetoprotein (AFP).
METHODS: Studies that explored the diagnostic value of GPC3 and AFP in HCC were searched in MEDLINE, EMBASE, PUBMED, the Cochrane Library and Chinese biomedical literature database (CBM). Sensitivity, specificity and other measures about the accuracy of serum GPC3 and AFP in the diagnosis of HCC were pooled using random effects models. Summary receiver operating characteristic curve (sROC) analysis was used to summarize the overall test performance.
RESULTS: Ten studies were included in our meta-analysis. The pooled sensitivity for AFP and GPC3 is 51.9% (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.47-0.56) and 59.2% (95% CI 0.55-0.63), respectively, while the pooled specificity for AFP and GPC3 is 94% (95% CI 92.1-95.6%) and 84.8% (95% CI 82-87.3%), respectively. The pooled diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) for AFP and GPC3 were 23.4 (95% CI 10.3-53.2) and 17.99 (95% CI 5.4-60.4), respectively. Area under sROC for both AFP and GPC3 is 0.81 (95% CI 0.77-0.84).
CONCLUSIONS: GPC3 is comparable to AFP as a serum marker for the diagnosis of HCC, combination of AFP and GPC3 can elevate the sensitivity of diagnosis.

Related: Liver Cancer

Huang TS, Shyu YC, Turner R, et al.
Diagnostic performance of alpha-fetoprotein, lens culinaris agglutinin-reactive alpha-fetoprotein, des-gamma carboxyprothrombin, and glypican-3 for the detection of hepatocellular carcinoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol.
Syst Rev. 2013; 2:37 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/08/2014 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Diagnosis of early-stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) followed by curative resection or liver transplantation offers the best chance for long-term patient survival. Clinically, ultrasonography has suboptimal sensitivity for detecting early-stage HCC. Several serological tests including alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), the ratio of lens culinaris agglutinin-reactive alpha-fetoprotein to total AFP (AFP-L3/AFP), des-gamma carboxyprothrombin (DCP), and glypican-3 (GPC-3) have been widely investigated as diagnostic biomarkers for early-stage HCC in at-risk populations. However, these tests are not recommended for routine HCC screening. Our objective is to determine the diagnostic performance of AFP, AFP-L3/AFP, DCP, and GPC-3 for the detection of HCC, particularly early-stage tumors meeting the Milan criteria.
METHODS/DESIGN: We will include cross-sectional studies that consecutively or randomly recruit target populations. We will search the Cochrane Library, Medline, Embase, Science Citation Index, and the Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure. We will also search the MEDION and ARIF databases to identify diagnostic systematic reviews that include primary studies. Reference lists of relevant reviews will be searched for additional trials. Language restrictions will not be applied. Two reviewers will independently screen study eligibility and extract data. Methodological quality will be assessed according to the revised tool for the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS-2). Two authors will apply the QUADAS-2 assessment to all the included studies, and any discrepancies will be resolved by the third author. The following test characteristics will be extracted into 2 × 2 tables for all included studies: true positives, false positives, true negatives, and false negatives. Study-specific estimates of sensitivity and specificity with 95% confidence intervals will be displayed in forest plots. When possible, we will use the bivariate random-effects model or the Rutter and Gatsonis hierarchical summary receiver operating characteristic model for statistical analysis. To investigate heterogeneity, we will include study designs, population characteristics, test characteristics, and types of reference standard as the study-level variables.
DISCUSSION: Our systematic review will allow patients, clinicians, and researchers to determine the diagnostic performance of AFP, AFP-L3/AFP, DCP, and GPC-3 for the detection of early-stage HCC and the potential roles of these diagnostic biomarkers in the existing diagnostic pathways.Systematic Review Registration: PROSPERO 2013; CRD42013003879.

Gupta A, Sheridan RM, Towbin A, et al.
Multifocal hepatic neoplasia in 3 children with APC gene mutation.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2013; 37(7):1058-66 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatoblastoma (HB), the most common hepatic neoplasm in children is associated with germline mutations in adenomatous polyposis coli tumor-suppressor gene that cause familial adenomatous polyposis syndrome. Individuals with familial adenomatous polyposis have a 750 to 7500× the risk of developing HB. We report 3 children with APC gene mutation, who underwent resection or liver transplant for HB. In addition to HB, all 3 patients had multiple independent adenoma-like nodules lacking qualities of intrahepatic metastases. Twenty-five nodules were subjected to immunohistochemical analysis using a panel of antibodies including glypican-3 (GPC3), β-catenin, cytokeratin AE1/AE3, CD34, Ki-67, glutamine synthetase (GS), and fatty acid binding protein. The nodules were round, ranged in size from 0.2 to 1.5 cm, and paler than the background liver. All lacked the chemotherapy effect. The nodules were circumscribed but nonencapsulated and composed of well-differentiated hepatocytes with occasional minor atypical features and absent or rare portal tracts. One lesion displayed a "nodule-within-nodule" pattern. The nodules demonstrated diffuse GS overexpression. Nine (36%) nodules were focally reactive for GPC3, and 1 (4%) displayed focal nuclear β-catenin expression. The associated HB showed diffuse expression of GS, GPC3, and β-catenin nuclear staining. We interpret these nodules as neoplastic with most being adenomas (GPC3 negative) that show features of independent origin and represent early stages of carcinogenesis, implying potential to progress to HB or hepatocellular carcinoma. To our knowledge, this is the first report of multifocal neoplasms in patients with HB and APC gene mutation.

Related: Liver Cancer

Yao S, Zhang J, Chen H, et al.
Diagnostic value of immunohistochemical staining of GP73, GPC3, DCP, CD34, CD31, and reticulin staining in hepatocellular carcinoma.
J Histochem Cytochem. 2013; 61(9):639-48 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/09/2014 Related Publications
It has been reported that Golgi protein-73 (GP73), glypican-3 (GPC3), and des-γ-carboxy prothrombin (DCP) could serve as serum markers for the early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This study aimed to evaluate a panel of immunostaining markers (including GP73, GPC3, DCP, CD34, and CD31) as well as reticulin staining to distinguish HCC from the mimickers. Our results revealed that CD34 immunostaining and reticulin staining were highly sensitive for the diagnosis of HCC. A special immunoreaction pattern of GP73--a diffuse coarse-block pattern in a perinuclear region or a concentrated cluster-like or cord-like pattern in a certain part of the cytoplasm--was observed in HCC cells, in contrast to the cytoplasmic fine-granular pattern in surrounding non-tumor cells and non-malignant nodules. This coarse-block pattern correlated significantly with less differentiated HCC. In comparison, GPC3 displayed a good advantage in diagnosing well-differentiated HCC. In our study, DCP and CD31 showed little diagnostic value for HCC as an immunostaining marker. When GP73, GPC3, and CD34 were combined, the specificity improved to 96.6%. Our findings demonstrate for the first time that the immunohistochemical panel of GP73, GPC3, and CD34 as well as reticulin staining is highly specific for the pathological diagnosis of HCC.

Related: Liver Cancer

Pérez Rojas J, Guarín Corredor MJ, Artes Martinez MJ, et al.
[Immunophenotypic classification of 3 cases of hepatocellular adenoma. Differential diagnosis with focal nodular hyperplasia].
Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013 Jun-Jul; 36(6):388-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
Interest in adenomas has been renewed by the discovery of the molecular changes in these tumors. The latest World Health Organization publication on gastrointestinal tract tumors (2010) includes four types of hepatic adenomas, which are well characterized immunohistochemically, genotypically and phenotypically. In these tumors, medical history and morphological behavior play an important role in determining the risk of malignancy, mainly in adenomas with a b-catenin mutation. The presence of steatosis, inflammation, vascular changes linked to response to L-FABP, serum amyloid A, and glutamyl synthetase help to classify these tumors into four groups: hepatocellular adenomas with the HNF1A mutation (H-HCA), those with the b-catenin mutation (b-HCA), inflammatory HCA (IHCA), and HCA without markers. The absence of glypican 3 expression, HSP 70 and perivenular mapping of glutamyl synthetase helps to distinguish these tumors from well differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma. We describe the clinical, morphological and immunophenotypic features of three patients diagnosed with hepatic adenomas in a 2-year period.

Related: Liver Cancer

Chen M, Li G, Yan J, et al.
Reevaluation of glypican-3 as a serological marker for hepatocellular carcinoma.
Clin Chim Acta. 2013; 423:105-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Glypican-3 (GPC3) is a novel histochemical marker of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, its utility as a serologic marker for HCC is not conclusive.
METHODS: A total of 1037 subjects, including 155 patients with HCC, 180 with chronic hepatitis, 124 with liver cirrhosis, 442 with non-HCC cancer and 136 healthy controls, were analyzed for serum GPC3 (sGPC3) by an ELISA constructed with 2 monoclonal antibodies.
RESULTS: The average level of sGPC3 in HCC patients was 99.94±267.2ng/ml, which was significantly higher than in patients with chronic hepatitis (10.45±46.02ng/ml, P<0.0001), liver cirrhosis (19.44±50.88ng/ml, P=0.0013), non-HCC cancer (20.50±98.33ng/ml, P<0.0001) and healthy controls (4.14±31.65ng/ml, P<0.0001). The sensitivity of sGPC3 in HCC diagnosis was 40.0%, whereas the specificity was 98.5%, 94.4% and 87.1% in healthy controls, chronic hepatitis patients and liver cirrhosis patients, respectively. In addition, 13.5% (28/207) of lung cancer patients and 13.2% (9/68) of thyroid cancer patients had positive results with sGPC3.
CONCLUSION: Serum GPC3 is a potential marker for HCC. However, the presence of sGPC3 in patients with lung cancer and thyroid cancer might limit its application as a single marker in the diagnosis of HCC.

Related: Liver Cancer Cancer Prevention and Risk Reduction

Morita S, Yoshida A, Goto A, et al.
High-grade lung adenocarcinoma with fetal lung-like morphology: clinicopathologic, immunohistochemical, and molecular analyses of 17 cases.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2013; 37(6):924-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
Low-grade lung adenocarcinoma of fetal lung type, which is well characterized by its unique clinicopathologic and molecular features, is recognized as a distinct variant of lung cancer. In contrast, high-grade lung adenocarcinoma with fetal lung-like morphology (HG-LAFM) has not been studied widely. To characterize this subset better, we analyzed 17 high-grade adenocarcinomas with at least focal component resembling a developing epithelium in the pseudoglandular phase of the fetal lung. These rare (ca. 0.4%) carcinomas occurred predominantly in elderly men with a heavy smoking history, who showed elevated serum α-fetoprotein in 4 of 5 cases tested. Histologic examination revealed a fetal lung-like component as a focal finding accounting for 5% to 60% of the total tumor volume. It was invariably admixed with tissues having a morphology not resembling that of a fetal lung. A coexisting non-fetal lung-like element was quite heterogenous in appearance, showing various growth patterns. However, clear-cell (88%), hepatoid (29%), and large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (24%) histology seemed overrepresented. HG-LAFM was characterized immunohistochemically by frequent expression of α-fetoprotein (41%), glypican-3 (88%), SALL-4 (59%), neuroendocrine markers (82%), CDX-2 (35%), and p53 (65%). HG-LAFM was molecularly heterogenous in that EGFR or KRAS mutation was observed in 22% of cases tested for both. Our data indicate that HG-LAFMs might form a coherent subgroup of lung adenocarcinomas. However, the uniformly focal nature of the fetal lung-like element, widely diverse coexisting non-fetal lung-like histology, and inhomogenous molecular profiles lead us to believe that HG-LAFM is best regarded as a morphologic pattern showing characteristic association with several clinicopathologic parameters rather than a specific tumor entity.

Related: Lung Cancer KRAS gene

Fu SJ, Qi CY, Xiao WK, et al.
Glypican-3 is a potential prognostic biomarker for hepatocellular carcinoma after curative resection.
Surgery. 2013; 154(3):536-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Glypican-3 (GPC3), an oncofetal protein, is overexpressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The diagnostic efficacy of GPC3 for HCC has been evaluated intensively in recent years; however, the prognostic value of GPC3 for HCC has not been well clarified. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between GPC3 and postoperative patient survival in a prospective database.
METHODS: GPC3 protein was detected by immunohistochemistry. The relationship between GPC3 expression level and patients' clinicopathologic factors was analyzed. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was used to calculate patients' survival and was compared by using the log rank test. The Cox regression model was used to identify the risk factors associated with prognosis.
RESULTS: GPC3 was expressed in 84% of HCC tissues. GPC3 protein expression was correlated with the number of tumors (P = .015), serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) level (P = .011), and TNM stage (P = .006). High GPC3 expression was an independent risk factor for poor postoperative disease-free survival (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.469; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.303-0.727; P = .001); and overall survival (HR = 0.435; 95% CI, 0.257-0.736; P = .002). Stratification analysis indicated that GPC3 had a good predictive value for tumor recurrence in patients with HCC who have normal serum AFP levels. Also, GPC3 expression status could predict the outcomes of patients with stage I disease.
CONCLUSION: GPC3 is a potential and reliable biomarker for predicting tumor recurrence and overall survival in HCC patients after curative resection.

Related: Liver Cancer

Witjes CD, ten Kate FJ, Verhoef C, et al.
Immunohistochemical characteristics of hepatocellular carcinoma in non-cirrhotic livers.
J Clin Pathol. 2013; 66(8):687-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) typically develops in cirrhotic livers. In the absence of risk factors, for example, cirrhosis or hepatitis B or C virus infection, HCC diagnosis might be difficult. We aimed to explore the value of immunohistochemical characteristics to diagnostics and prognosis, and whether these immunohistochemical characteristics differ from those of HCC in a cirrhotic liver, possibly indicating an aberrant pathogenetic pathway. Paraffin-embedded, formalin-fixed tissue slides from liver resection specimens of the patients with HCC in a non-cirrhotic liver were analysed. From January 2000 through April 2011, 799 patients with HCC were admitted to our hospital; in total, 47 patients with 50 HCCs in a non-cirrhotic liver were operated. These tumours were stained positive for α-fetoprotein (AFP) in 30%, CD34 in 88%, cytokeratine 7 (CK7) in 44%, CK19 in 12%, glypican-3 (GPC-3) in 40%, glutamine synthetase in 62% and β-catenin in 32%. There was similarity in immunohistochemical expression of several markers comparing HCC in a non-cirrhotic liver with HCC in a cirrhotic liver. Moderate or poorly differentiated HCC more often expressed β-catenin and GPC-3 and showed a higher percentage of MIB-1-positive hepatocytes. A positive AFP immunohistochemical staining was significantly related with a high preoperative AFP serum level (p=0.001). None of the immunohistochemical stainings were associated with a worse overall survival. Of the patients treated with a surgical resection, 17 had recurrence of HCC and these patients more often had a positive CK19 staining (p=0.048). In conclusion, immunohistochemical expression of several markers in HCC in a non-cirrhotic and cirrhotic liver was comparable. Immunohistochemical markers have limited additional value to characterise HCC in non-cirrhoitc livers.

Related: MKI67 Liver Cancer


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