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J Clin Oncol. 2008 Jun 1;26(16):2707-16. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2007.15.6521.

High expression of macrophage colony-stimulating factor in peritumoral liver tissue is associated with poor survival after curative resection of hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Liver Cancer Institute and Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China.

Erratum in

  • J Clin Oncol. 2013 Aug 20;31(24):3049.
  • J Clin Oncol. 2008 Jul 20;26(21):3659.



To investigate prognostic values of the intratumoral and peritumoral expression of macrophage colony-stimulating factors (M-CSF) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients after curative resection.


Expression of M-CSF and density of macrophages (M Phi) were assessed by immunohistochemistry in tissue microarrays containing paired tumor and peritumoral liver tissue from 105 patients who had undergone hepatectomy for histologically proven HCC. Prognostic value of these and other clinicopathologic factors was evaluated.


Neither intratumoral M-CSF nor M Phi density was associated with overall survival (OS) or disease-free survival (DFS). High peritumoral M-CSF and M Phi density, which correlated with large tumor size, presence of intrahepatic metastasis, and high TNM stage, were independent prognostic factors for both OS (P = .001 and P < .001, respectively) and DFS (P = .001 and P = .003, respectively) and affected incidence of early recurrence. In a small HCC subset, peritumoral M-CSF was also correlated with both OS and DFS (P = .038 and P = .001, respectively). The combination of peritumoral M-CSF and M Phi had a better power to predict the patients' death and disease recurrence (P < .001 for both).


High peritumoral M-CSF and M Phi were associated with HCC progression, disease recurrence, and poor survival after hepatectomy, highlighting the importance of peritumoral tissue in the recurrence and metastasis of HCC. M-CSF and M Phi may be targets of postoperative adjuvant therapy.

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