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Oncol Lett. 2016 Jan;11(1):293-298. Epub 2015 Nov 10.

Expression of high mobility group box 1 protein predicts a poorer prognosis for patients with osteosarcoma.

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Department of Orthopaedics, Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong 250021, P.R. China.
Department of Pharmacy, Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong 250021, P.R. China.


The high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) protein functions as an extracellular signaling molecule that is critical in inflammation and carcinogenesis. The HMGB1 protein is actively secreted by natural killer cells, monocytes and macrophages, and acts as an inflammatory cytokine. The present study enrolled 174 patients that underwent a tumorectomy between 2006 and 2013 in Shandong Provincial Hospital. The age of the patients ranged between 13 and 74 years, with a median age of 27 years. The tumors of the patients were staged according to the Union for International Cancer Control 2009 tumor-node-metastasis tumor staging system. Nuclear grading was based on the Fuhrman grading system. In the osteosarcoma tissue samples, HMGB1 expression was detected in 84 samples (48.3%) with a low immunoreactivity and in 90 samples (51.7%) with a high immunoreactivity. The association between clinicopathological characteristics and tumor cell HMGB1 expression (low vs. high) was summarized. The association between HMGB1 expression and tumor size, tumor stage and nuclear grade was statistically significant (P=0.034, 0.008 and 0.019, respectively). There was no significant association between HMGB1 expression and the age of the patients (P=0.335; Table I). The current study demonstrated that patients with a high HMGB1 expression (>50% cells expressing HMGB1) had poorer survival rates, and therefore a poorer prognosis, compared with patients with low HMGB1 immunostaining (10-50% cells expressing HMGB1). The results of the present study suggest that higher expression levels of HMGB1 are significantly associated with a poorer prognosis and may act as a marker for prognosis in osteosarcoma, particularly osteosarcoma recurrence. Additional studies investigating the biological features of HMGB1 may confirm the potential role of HMGB1 as a novel target for anticancer therapy in osteosarcoma.


HMGB1; marker; osteosarcoma; prognosis; recurrence; survival rates

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