Wnt-1 protein as a prognostic biomarker for hepatitis B-related and hepatitis C-related hepatocellular carcinoma after surgery

Hao Hsien Lee, Yih Huei Uen, Yu Feng Tian, Chi Shu Sun, Ming Jen Sheu, Hsing Tao Kuo, Lok Beng Koay, Ching Yih Lin, Ching Cherng Tzeng, Chia Ju Cheng, Ling Yu Tang, Sun Lung Tsai, Andrew H.J. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Up-regulation of Wnt-1 protein has been reported in hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related and hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues and cell lines. It is known to play a fundamental role in signaling cancer progression, whereas its prognostic role in HCC remains unexplored. Methods: As a prognostic biomarker, this study analyzed Wnt-1 protein expression in 63 histology-verified HCC patients receiving curative resection. In each paired tumor and nontumor specimen, Wnt-1 levels were semiquantitatively measured by Western blotting and expressed by tumor/nontumor ratio. The data were further correlated with quantitative real-time PCR as well as with β-catenin and E-cadherin expression by immunohistochemistry. Cumulative tumor recurrence-free survival curves were constructed using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared by the log-rank test. Results: The results showed that 26 (group I) and 37 (group II) HCC patients had an expression ratio of Wnt-1 ≥1.5 and <1.5, respectively. The amount of Wnt-1 estimated by tumor/nontumor ratio correlated with the results by quantitative real-time PCR. High tumor Wnt-1 expression correlated with enhanced nuclear β-catenin accumulation, diminished membranous E-cadherin expression, and increased tumor recurrence after curative tumor resection. Conclusions: These results suggest that Wnt-1 may be used as a predisposing risk factor for HCC recurrence. The use of tumor Wnt-1 as prognostic biomarker may identify patients with HBV- and/or HCV-related HCC patients with a high risk of tumor recurrence who may then benefit from further intensive therapy after surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1562-1569
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology


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