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Surgery. 1998 Jul;124(1):57-64.

Partial hepatectomy accelerates local tumor growth: potential roles of local cytokine activation.

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Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021, USA.



Surgical excision of liver tumors represents the only curative treatment for primary and metastatic liver malignancies. It has been suspected that hepatectomy may stimulate growth of microscopic tumors. To determine whether local or systemic factors after hepatectomy are responsible for enhancement of tumor growth, the effects of hepatectomy on the experimental growth of liver or pulmonary tumors were examined.


One hour after injection of 10(6) Morris hepatoma cells into either the portal or femoral vein, which produces isolated liver and lung tumors, respectively, animals were randomized to undergo 0%, 30%, or 70% partial hepatectomy (PH).


Animals that underwent portal injection of tumor had significantly increased liver tumor burden after PH (sham, 25 +/- 7 vs PH, 94 +/- 17; p < 0.01), whereas animals that underwent femoral injection had no change in lung tumor burden after PH. PH was associated with significantly increased levels of transforming growth factor-alpha, transforming growth factor-beta, and basic fibroblast growth factor in the liver but not in the lung.


Changes in liver cytokine-growth factor activation may contribute to enhanced tumor growth in the liver after hepatectomy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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