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Oncology. 2005;69(4):342-7. Epub 2005 Nov 16.

Suppressed MKP-1 is an independent predictor of outcome in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Department of Surgery and Science, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.



An increase in the activity of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) has been correlated with a more malignant phenotype in several tumor models in vivo. This study was designed to clarify the expression of MKP-1 in surgically resected hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).


We reviewed the cases of 77 patients who had undergone initial liver resection for HCC without preoperative treatment. Immunohistochemical analysis of MKP-1 was performed on paraffin-embedded tissues. The correlation between MKP-1 expression and clinical outcome was investigated.


Tumor cells were immunohistochemically stained for MKP-1 expression, and the same levels as in normal hepatocytes were detected in 66 (85%) of 77 HCC patients, being decreased in 11 (15%) HCCs. Decreased MKP-1 expression significantly correlated with serum alpha-fetoprotein levels and tumor size (p<0.05). The disease-free survival rates in MKP-1-negative and -positive patients were 0 and 31.0% at 5 years, respectively (p<0.01). The survival rates after a surgical resection in MKP-1-negative and -positive patients were 18.2 and 65.5% at 5 years, respectively (p<0.01).


The MKP-1 expression in HCC was an independent prognostic factor for outcome in HCC patients. In the future, it will be useful to explore whether the phosphatase expression might account for the response to HCC treatments targeting at MAPK activation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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