Clinical Research Papers:

High KIF18A expression correlates with unfavorable prognosis in primary hepatocellular carcinoma

Weijia Liao, Guojin Huang, Yan Liao, Jianjun Yang, Qian Chen, ShengJun Xiao, Junfei Jin _, Songqing He and Changming Wang

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Oncotarget. 2014; 5:10271-10279. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.2082

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Weijia Liao1,2,*, Guojin Huang1,*, Yan Liao3, Jianjun Yang1, Qian Chen1, ShengJun Xiao4, Junfei Jin1,2, Songqing He1,2 and Changming Wang5

1 Laboratory of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, Affiliated Hospital of Guilin Medical University, Guilin, Guangxi, People’s Republic of China

2 Guangxi Key Laboratory of Molecular Medicine in Liver Injury and Repair, Guilin, Guangxi, People’s Republic of China

3 Disease Prevention and Control Center of Guilin,Guilin, Guangxi, People’s Republic of China

4 Division of Pathology, Affiliated Hospital of Guilin Medical University, Guilin, Guangxi, People’s Republic of China

5 Division of Respiratory Diseases, Affiliated Hospital of Guilin Medical University, Guilin, Guangxi, People’s Republic of China

* These two authors contributed equally to this work


Junfei Jin, email:

Songqing He, email:

Changming Wang, email:

Keywords: Hepatocellular carcinoma; KIF18A; Prognosis; Biomarker

Received: May 1, 2014 Accepted: June 6, 2014 Published: June 8, 2014


This study aimed to investigate KIF18A expression in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and to determine the possibility of KIF18A expression being a biomarker in HCC diagnosis or being an independent predictor of disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) in HCC patients underwent surgical resection. KIF18AmRNA was detected in 216 cases of HCC tissues by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and in 20 cases of HCC tissues by semi-quantitative RT-PCR. KIF18A protein was determined in 32 cases of HCC tissues by immunohistochemistry (IHC). The survival probability was analyzed by Kaplan-Meier method, and survival curves between groups were obtained by using the log-rank test. Independent predictors associated with DFS were analyzed with Stepwise Cox proportional hazard models. High KIF18A mRNA level was detected in 154 out of 216 (71.3%) cases of HCC. The positive rate of KIF18A expression was significantly higher in liver cancer tissues than that in adjacent normal liver tissues (ANLT) from HCC patients [65.6% (21 of 32) vs. 25.0% (8 of 32), P=0.001]. The KIF18A expression level had positive relevance to the alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) (200 ng/ml), tumor size (≥5cm), clinical tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stage and portal vein tumor thrombus (PVTT) in HCC (all P <0.05). A survival analysis indicated that HCC patients with higher KIF18A expression had a significantly shorter DFS and OS after resection. A multivariate analysis suggested that KIF18A upregualtion was an independent factor for DFS [hazard risk (HR)=1.602; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.029-2.579; P=0.031] and OS (HR=1.682; 95% CI, 1.089-2.600; P=0.019). KIF18A might be a biomarker for HCC diagnosis and an independent predictor of DFS and OS after surgical resection.

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