The significance of fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 expression in differentiation of hepatocellular carcinoma

Norifumi Harimoto, Kenichi Taguchi, Ken Shirabe, Eisuke Adachi, Yoshihisa Sakaguchi, Yasushi Toh, Takeshi Okamura, Hiroto Kayashima, Akinobu Taketomi, Yoshihiko Maehara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs) have been reported to be involved in the progression of many cancers. The aim of this study is to clarify the significance of FGFR2 expression in the differentiation of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). One nodule-in-nodule HCC sample was obtained from a patient to analyze the different expression in well- to moderately differentiated HCC and poorly differentiated HCC using microarray technique. The expression of FGFR2 in 46 patients with surgically resected HCC was immunohistochemically examined and analyzed in relation to their clinicopathological factors. Fgfr2 was 4.7 times up-regulated in poorly differentiated HCC from a nodule-in-nodule sample. The high expression group was 16 cases and the low expression group was 30 cases. The high FGFR2 expression correlated significantly with a poor histological differentiation, a higher incidence of portal vein and a high level of alpha-fetoprotein. The overall survival rates and the disease-free survival rates in high expression were significantly worse than those in low. In conclusion, a high FGFR2 expression plays an important role in poor differentiation, portal vein invasion, high alpha-fetoprotein production, and poor prognosis. These data suggest that FGFR2 may be a potentially useful biological marker of tumor invasiveness in HCC as well as a novel molecular target for HCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-368
Number of pages8
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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