Background: The expression of heat shock protein-27 (HSP-27) has been detected in some human tumors. In this study the authors investigated HSP-27 expression in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and examined its prognostic significance.
Methods: Expression of HSP-27 was studied in 58 HCC and adjacent noncancerous liver tissues by immunohistochemical stain. The relation between its expression and eight known prognostic factors was evaluated.
Results: Of the 58 HCC tissues studied, the presence of HSP-27 was demonstrated in 45 tissues (77.6%); low expression (</= 25%) was demonstrated in 17 tissues and high expression (> 25%) was demonstrated in 28 tissues. A significantly higher distribution of HSP-27 expression in HCC tissues compared with adjacent noncancerous liver tissues was obtained (P < 0.0001). Patients with high HSP-27 expression had a significantly higher histologic tumor grade than those with low HSP-27 expression (P = 0.001). The 5-year disease free survival rate of patients with high HSP-27 expression was 21.4% versus 59.3% for patients with low HSP-27 expression (P < 0.001). A similar relation was observed with overall survival (33.3% vs. 64. 8%; P = 0.009). HSP-27 expression was also identified to be a significant and powerful prognostic indicator for disease free survival (odds ratio = 2.25; P = 0.034) and for overall survival (odds ratio = 2.72; P = 0.015).
Conclusions: The current study data suggest that HSP-27 expression is a powerful prognostic indicator and is related to histologic grade and survival of patients with HCC.
Copyright 2000 American Cancer Society.