Background: Previous studies have suggested the abnormal expression of soluble B7-H4 (sB7-H4) in circulation in cancer patients. The aim of present study was to examine the sB7-H4 expression in serum and to investigate the correlations between sB7-H4 levels and clinicopathologic parameters as well as the survival rate of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Materials and methods: Circulating sB7-H4 levels in blood specimens from 93 patients with HCC and 55 healthy volunteers were examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The association of sB7-H4 levels with clinicopathologic factors, overall survival (OS), and time to recurrence were statistically analyzed.
Results: sB7-H4 levels in HCC patients were significantly higher than that in healthy controls (49.12 ± 3.10 versus 31.66 ± 2.59 ng/mL, P < 0.001). High sB7-H4 levels were correlated with tumor size (P = 0.007), tumor invasion (P = 0.037), tumor differentiation (P = 0.044) and tumor-node metastasis stage (P < 0.001). In addition, high sB7-H4 levels were significantly related to poor OS and higher recurrence probability (P = 0.002, P = 0.014, respectively). High sB7-H4 levels were independent prognostic factors for both OS (hazard ratio = 2.497; 95% confidence interval, 1.133-3.789; P = 0.009) and time to recurrence (hazard ratio = 2.33; 95% confidence interval, 1.247-4.179; P = 0.008).
Conclusions: Detection of sB7-H4 in serum might serve as a clinical predictor in the diagnosis or prediction of clinical outcomes for the patients with HCC.
Keywords: Hepatocellular carcinoma; Prognosis; Soluble B7-H4; Tumor progression.
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