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Significance of the vascular endothelial growth factor and the macrophage migration inhibitory factor in the progression of hepatocellular carcinoma

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The aim of the present study was to investigate the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) in HCC progression and their correlation with clinicopathological factors as well as the relationship between their expression levels. The expression of serum VEGF and MIF was evaluated in 150 patients with HCC and in 30 normal volunteers by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). VEGF and MIF expression levels were evaluated by immunohisto­chemistry on tissue microarrays containing 150 HCCs with paired adjacent non-cancer liver tissues. VEGF and MIF mRNA levels were determined by quantitative PCR in another 48 HCCs. The correlation of VEGF and MIF with clinicopathological factors was analyzed in HCC. Serum VEGF and MIF concentrations were higher in HCC patients than the levels in the controls. The expression levels of VEGF and MIF in the HCC tissues were both higher than those in the adjacent non-tumor liver tissues. Overexpression of VEGF and MIF was significantly associated with tumor size (P=0.027 and 0.022, respectively), intrahepatic metastasis (P=0.032 and 0.027, respectively), vascular invasion (P=0.044 and 0.039, respectively) and TNM stage (P=0.028 and 0.013, respectively). Furthermore, VEGF and MIF mRNA levels were higher in HCC compared to levels in the paired non-cancer liver tissues. VEGF and MIF mRNA levels were correlated with tumor stage and metastasis. The expression of VEGF was positively related with MIF expression in HCC. The expression of MIF and VEGF in HCC was markedly positively correlated, which suggests that MIF and VEGF play an important role in the progression of HCC. Both factors may concomitantly accelerate the progression of HCC.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Laboratory Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510080, P.R. China 2: Department of Medical Intensive Care Unit, The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510080, P.R. China 3: Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510080, P.R. China 4: Department of General Surgical Laboratory, The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510080, P.R. China

Publication date: March 1, 2014

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