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Cytokeratin19 positive hepatocellular carcinoma is associated with increased peritumoral ductular reaction

Xiaobo Cai, Li Feng, Heng Liu, Mingyi Xu, Yin Qu, Xinjian Wan, Chunfang Gao, Lungen Lu


Background and aims. Cytokeratin19 positive (CK19+) hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is thought to derive from liver progenitor cells (LPC). However, whether peritumoralductular reaction (DR) differs between CK19+ and CK19 negative (CK19-) HCC patients remains unclear. Material and methods. One hundred and twenty HBV-related HCC patients were enrolled in this study. Clinicopathological variables were collected, and immunohistochemistry staining for CK19, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and β-catenin were performed in tumor and peritumor liver tissues. Results. CK19+ HCC patients had higher grade of peritumoral DR and proportion of proliferative DR than the CK19- group. The mean number or the proportion of cytoplasmic β-catenin+ DR was higher in the CK19+ group than in the CK19- group. Furthermore, there were more patients with nuclear β-catenin+ peritumoral DR in the CK19+ group as compared to the CK19- group. Conclusion. Peritumoral DR was more abundant and proliferative in CK19+ HCC patients, with higher level of nuclear translocation of β-catenin. However, it is unclear whether peritumoral DR is the cause or result of poor prognosis in these patients.

Key words. Liver cancer, Liver progenitor cells, β-catenin

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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