Published online Nov 14, 2011. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i42.4675
Revised: June 10, 2011
Accepted: June 17, 2011
Published online: November 14, 2011
AIM: To determine the apoptosis pathway in residual viable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues following transarterial embolization (TAE).
METHODS: Ten patients with HCC who received surgical resection after TAE were enrolled in the study group, and 24 patients with HCC who received surgical resection only served as the control group. In the study group, we measured the changes in tumor size and α fetoprotein (AFP) levels after TAE. All tissue samples were taken from the residual tumors. The expression of various apoptotic proteins was evaluated via immunoblotting procedures. The results were analyzed using a Student’s t test.
RESULTS: Tumor size and the AFP level decreased by 46.2% and 55.3% after TAE, respectively. There was no significant difference detected for the Bcl-2/Bax ratio or the cleaved caspase-9 expression levels in either group. However, extrinsic apoptopic pathway-related expression of Fas and cleaved caspase-8 expression were significantly higher in the study group than in the control group (P < 0.05). In addition, cleaved caspase-3 expression in the study group was higher (1.62-fold) than in control group (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: TAE is an effective palliative therapy that decreases tumor size and AFP levels via an increase in extrinsic apoptosis pathway in patients with unresectable HCC.