Somatostatin receptor subtypes 2 and 5 are associated with better survival in operable hepatitis B-related hepatocellular carcinoma following octreotide long-acting release treatment

Published on Friday, 20 June 2014


Liver resections for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in cirrhotic livers are associated with early recurrence and poor survival.

Somatostatin analogues (SSAs) have been reported to inhibit cell proliferation by interacting with specific somatostatin receptors (SSTRs) 2 and 5.

The present study investigated whether SSTR expression in HCC was associated with the clinical outcome following octreotide long-acting release (LAR) treatment.

Paired tumor and cirrhotic liver samples were obtained following a liver resection from 99 patients with stage I-II HCC and HBV-related cirrhosis. The expression of SSTR2 and 5 was assessed using quantitative (q)PCR and immunohistochemistry.

The patients were classified into two groups, the high expression (n=47) and low expression (n=52) groups, based on the gene expression levels. The clinicopathological data and survival results of the two groups were compared.

When compared with the surrounding cirrhotic tissue, the SSTR2 and 5 mRNA levels were significantly decreased in the HCC tissue. There were no significant differences between the groups with respect to the baseline characteristics. The tumor recurrence rate was significantly lower in the high expression group compared with that of the low expression group (63.83% vs. 82.69%; P=0.033).

The 1-, 3- and 5-year disease-free and overall survival rates of the high expression group were 97, 89 and 71% and 98, 89 and 74%, respectively. The survival time of the members of the high expression group was longer compared with that of the low expression group.

The multivariate analysis revealed that the TNM-7 stage and SSTR2 expression were independent prognostic factors for survival.

In conclusion, SSTR mRNA expression correlated with survival in patients with early-stage hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related HCC who were treated with octreotide LAR following surgery. The inhibitory effects of SSAs on tumor growth may be mediated by SSTR expression.



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