TIE2-expressing monocytes as a diagnostic marker for hepatocellular carcinoma correlated with angiogenesis
Matsubara T et al. – TIE2–expressing monocytes (TEMs) are increased in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and change in parallel with the therapeutic response or recurrence. The frequency of TEMs can be used as a diagnostic marker for HCC, potentially reflecting angiogenesis in the liver.Methods
- This study enrolled 168 HCV-infected patients including 89 with HCC and examined the frequency of TEMs, as defined as CD14+CD16+TIE2+ cells, in the periphery and in the liver.
- The localization of TEMs in the liver was determined by immunofluorescence.
- Micro-vessel formation in the liver was quantified by counting CD34+ cells.
- In HCC patients, the frequency of TEMs in the periphery was significantly higher than those in non-HCC groups, and also was higher in the liver than in the periphery.
- In patients who underwent local ablation or resection of HCC, the frequency of TEMs dynamically changed in parallel with the recurrence of HCC.
- Most TEMs were identified in the perivascular area of cancer tissues.
- A significant positive correlation was observed between micro-vessel density in HCC tissues and the peripheral or intra-tumor frequencies of TEMs, suggesting that TEMs are involved in angiogenesis in the liver.
- Receiver operating characteristic analyses revealed the superiority of TEM frequency to AFP, PIVKA-II and ANG-2 levels as a diagnostic for HCC.