Research Papers:

Peripheral blood lymphocyte subset levels differ in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma

Hai-Zhou Liu, Wei Deng, Ji-Lin Li, Ya-Mei Tang, Li-Tu Zhang, Ying Cui and Xin-Qiang Liang _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:77558-77564. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.13041

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Hai-Zhou Liu1, Wei Deng1, Ji-Lin Li1, Ya-Mei Tang1, Li-Tu Zhang1, Ying Cui1, Xin-Qiang Liang1

1Department of Medical Research, The Affiliated Tumor Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, 530021 Nanning, Guangxi, P.R. China

Correspondence to:

Xin-Qiang Liang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma, CD3+, CD4+, CD19+, NK cells

Received: April 02, 2016     Accepted: September 13, 2016     Published: November 03, 2016


We investigated the levels of target lymphocyte subsets in peripheral blood lymphocyte samples from patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). A total of 715 high-risk patients with primary HCC were recruited in Guangxi, China as the case group. The control group included 100 patients who received health examinations at the same hospital during the same period. Fasting elbow venous blood (10 mL) was collected from each participant, and flow cytometry was used to detect the levels of NK cells and CD3+, CD4+ and CD19+ T cells in peripheral blood samples. All included patients with prmary HCC were treated by surgical resection, and followed up for one year. The levels of CD19+ and NK cells were lower in cases than in controls (both P < 0.05). In addition, the level of CD8+ cells was greater in the case group than in the control group (P < 0.05). In the high-HCC-risk population, CD8+, CD19+ and NK cell levels all differed between male and female patients, patients in TNM stages I–II and stages III–IV, patients with and without extrahepatic metastasis, and patients with and without HBV infection (all P < 0.05). After follow-up, detected recurrence and survival rate was 33.71% and 83.64%, respectively. CD8+ levels was reduced following surgical resection, whereas the levels of CD19+ and NK cells were increased (all P < 0.05). In conclusion, altered levels of CD8+, CD19+ and NK cell levels may be used as reference values for monitoring immune function in certain populations with high HCC risk, and as potential evidence for the clinical diagnosis and treatment of HCC.

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