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Clinicopathological significance and prognostic role of p-STAT3 in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma

Authors Liang CJ, Xu Y, Ge H, Li G, Wu J

Received 6 November 2017

Accepted for publication 26 January 2018

Published 5 March 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 1203—1214


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Cho

Chaojie Liang,* Yingchen Xu,* Hua Ge, Guangming Li, Jixiang Wu

Department of General Surgery, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background and aim: Constitutive activation of STAT3 through its phosphorylation (p-STAT3) plays a key role in the development and progression of various cancers. However, the relationship between p-STAT3 expression and the clinicopathological features and prognostic value in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains controversial. We conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate the role of p-STAT3 in HCC.
The PubMed, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, EMBASE, Chinese CNKI, and Chinese Wanfang databases were searched using the appropriate terms to find the relevant studies on p-STAT3 and HCC. The relationship between p-STAT3 expression and clinicopathological characteristics and prognostic value was established. Pool odds ratios (ORs) and hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% CIs were calculated using the STATA 14.2 software.
Results: The eight articles included in this meta-analysis comprised 752 patients. Expression of p-STAT3 was associated with incidence, age, liver cirrhosis, tumor size, vascular invasion, and TNM stage of HCC, but it was not related to gender, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), number of tumors, and tumor differentiation. Additionally, the expression of p-STAT3 was related to a poor 3- and 5-year overall survival rate and disease-free survival rate.
Conclusion: Expression of p-STAT3 was associated with the incidence, age, liver cirrhosis, tumor size, vascular invasion, and TNM stage. Thus, p-STAT3 can be a reliable prognostic biomarker for HCC. Further high-quality studies with larger numbers of patients are needed.

Keywords: p-STAT3, hepatocellular carcinoma, prognosis, meta-analysis

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