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Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2004 Dec;31(12):1621-30. Epub 2004 Jul 28.

Analysis of gene expression profiles of hepatocellular carcinomas with regard to 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose uptake pattern on positron emission tomography.

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  • 1Division of Nuclear Medicine, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.



18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) uptake on positron emission tomography (PET) scan has been found to reflect tumour aggressiveness and prognosis in various types of cancer. In this study, the gene expression profiles of hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) were evaluated to determine whether HCCs with high 18F-FDG uptake have more aggressive biological potential than those with low uptake.


Surgical specimens were obtained from ten patients with HCC (six males and four females, age range 38-68 years). The tumour samples were divided into two groups based on the 18F-FDG PET scan findings: high 18F-FDG uptake (n=4) and low 18F-FDG uptake (n=6).


The pathological tumour grade was closely correlated with the 18F-FDG uptake pattern: HCCs with high 18F-FDG uptake were pathologically Edmondson-Steiner grade III, while those with low uptake were either grade II or grade II with a focal area of grade III. The total RNA was extracted from the frozen tissues of all HCCs (n=10) and adjacent non-cancerous tissue (n=7). The gene expression profiles were evaluated using an oligoDNA microarray. The HCCs with high 18F-FDG uptake showed increased expression of 11 genes--including vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, vinexin beta and core 1 UDP-galactose:N-acetylgalactosamine-alpha-R-beta 1,3-galactosyltransferase and the natural killer cell inhibitory receptor--compared to those with low uptake (p<0.005). Nine genes, including regulator of mitotic spindle assembly 1, grb2-related adaptor protein and beta-1,3-n-acetylglucosaminyltransferase, were repressed.


Gene expression is closely related to cell survival, cell-to-cell adhesion or cell spreading; therefore, HCCs with high 18F-FDG uptake appear to have more aggressive biological properties than those with low uptake.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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