Prognostic implication of NQO1 overexpression in hepatocellular carcinoma
To explore the role of NQO1 overexpression for prognostic implication in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), NQO1 mRNA levels were detected in HCC fresh tissue samples of HCC and nontumor tissues, respectively. One hundred fifty-six cases of HCC meeting strict follow-up criteria were selected for immunohistochemical staining of NQO1 protein. Correlations between NQO1 overexpression and clinicopathological features of HCC were evaluated using χ 2 tests, survival rates were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method, and the relationship between prognostic factors and patient 5-year survival was analyzed using Cox proportional hazards analysis. In results, the levels of NQO1 mRNA were significantly up-regulated in 14 fresh tissue samples of HCC. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that the NQO1 expression and overexpression rates were significantly higher in HCC samples compared with either adjacent nontumor tissues or normal liver tissues. NQO1 overexpression correlated to tumor size, venous infiltration and late pTNM stage of HCC. NQO1 overexpression was also related to low disease-free survival and 5-year survival rates. In the late‐stage group, disease-free and 5-year survival rates of patients with NQO1 overexpression were significantly lower than those of patients without NQO1 expression. Further analysis using a Cox proportional hazards regression model revealed that NQO1 expression emerged as a significant independent hazard factor for the 5-year survival rate of patients with HCC. Therefore, NQO1 plays an important role in the progression of HCC. NQO1 may potentially be used as an independent biomarker for prognostic evaluation of HCC. Highlights The roles of NQO1 on the progression of hepatocellular carcinoma are still unclear. NQO1 is frequently up-regulated in hepatocellular carcinoma. NQO1 is a potential effective predictor for poor prognosis in patients with HCC. NQO1 expression levels should help identify high-risk HCC patients. These findings provide potential diagnostic and therapeutic targets.
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