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Overexpressed pepsinogen C is associated with poor prognosis in human hepatocellular carcinoma: a tissue microarray study

Authors Chen H, Zhu HR, Yu XN, Shi X, Bilegsaikhan E, Guo HY, Huang RZ, Liu TT, Shen XZ, Zhu JM

Received 25 October 2018

Accepted for publication 7 March 2019

Published 10 April 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 2927—2934


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Rituraj Purohit

Hong Chen,1 Hai-Rong Zhu,2 Xiang-Nan Yu,2 Xuan Shi,2 Enkhnaran Bilegsaikhan,2 Hong-Ying Guo,2 Ren-Zheng Huang,2 Tao-Tao Liu,2 Xi-Zhong Shen,2–4 Ji-Min Zhu2,3

1Department of Endocrinology, Zhongshan Hospital of Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Gastroenterologyand Hepatology, Zhongshan Hospital of Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 3Shanghai Institute of Liver Disease, Zhongshan Hospital of Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 4Key Laboratory of Medical Molecular Virology, Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Background: Aberrant expression of pepsinogen C (PGC) has been observed in human cancers. However, its role in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains to be established. The goal of this study is to illustrate PGC expression and to evaluate its clinical relevance in HCC.
Materials and methods: PGC expression was examined in 75 pairs of HCC and adjacent non-tumor tissues using tissue microarray. The correlations between its expression and clinical parameters were also analyzed.
Results: PGC overexpression was significantly associated with larger tumor size (≥5 cm; P=0.017) and incomplete encapsulation (P<0.0001). Cox regression model demonstrated that PGC expression and tumor size were independent prognostic factors for overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) in HCC. The subgroup analysis by Kaplan–Meier uncovered that OS and DFS were much worse in high PGC level group than in low PGC level group with large tumor size subgroup, while no difference of OS was noted between the two groups with low tumor size subgroup.
Conclusion: PGC plays a tumorigenesis role in HCC progression, which may lead to a novel insight to the potential biomarker and novel therapeutic strategies for HCC patients.

Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma, pepsinogen C, prognostic biomarker, tumor size, tissue microarray

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