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Acta Histochem. 2012 Oct;114(6):547-52. doi: 10.1016/j.acthis.2011.10.003. Epub 2011 Nov 26.

Glypican-3 as a potential differential diagnosis marker for hepatocellular carcinoma: a tissue microarray-based study.

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Department of Pathology and Pathophysiology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.


The differential diagnosis between hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and benign hepatic lesions is still difficult and new biochemical markers for HCC are required. The aim of this study was to assess the differential diagnostic value of glypican-3 (GPC3) immunostaining in HCC patients. 147 cases of surgically excised HCC tissues, 94 cases from needle biopsies, and tissue microarrays were used for this study. The tissue microarrays contained 449 specimens including: 115 HCC, 25 intrahepatic cholangiocellular carcinoma, 29 lung adenocarcinoma, 23 squamous cell lung carcinoma, 53 ovary adenocarcinoma, 44 renal cell carcinoma, 30 prostate acinar adenocarcinoma, 42 breast carcinoma, 41 gastric carcinoma and 47 colorectal carcinoma. The immunolocalization of GPC3 was measured using immunohistochemical staining. Among 147 surgically excised HCC samples, 87.1% (128/147) were GPC3 positive. No GPC3 expression, however, was observed in paracarcinomatous and cirrhotic tissues. In needle biopsy tissues, GPC3 was positively expressed in 81.9% (77/94). Among tissue microassays, HCCs showed positive GPC3 expression in 55.7% (64/115), while 9.6% (5/52) of lung carcinoma and 5.7% (3/53) of ovary adenocarcinoma also were positively stained. The other tumor types showed negative GPC3 expression. In conclusion, our results show that GPC3 is specifically overexpressed in HCC tissue and may be regarded as a potential marker for differential diagnostic hepatocellular carcinoma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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