Research Papers:

SALL4 is a novel therapeutic target in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma

Gang Deng, Lei Zhu, Feizhou Huang _, Wanpin Nie, Wei Huang, Hongbo Xu, Shaopeng Zheng, Zhongjie Yi and Tao Wan

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:27416-27426. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.4862

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Gang Deng1, Lei Zhu1, Feizhou Huang1, Wanpin Nie1, Wei Huang1, Hongbo Xu1, Shaopeng Zheng1, Zhongjie Yi1, Tao Wan1

1Department of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, the Third Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410013, P.R. China

Correspondence to:

Feizhou Huang, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, SALL4, proliferation, migration, invasion

Received: May 07, 2015     Accepted: July 27, 2015     Published: August 07, 2015


Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) is the most common and deadly disease of the biliary tree due to its poor prognosis. Sal-like protein 4 (SALL4), a stem cell marker, has been identified as a potential target for aggressive hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In our study, 175 ICC cases with an average age of 55 years were included, and 53% (93/175) were male. And 28 adjacent non-tumor tissues were also collected. The SALL4-positive immunoreactivity was detected in a total of 102 ICC cases (58%), whereas all 28 adjacent tissues showed negative staining. Univariate analysis, showed that the SALL4-positive ICC cases had significantly more frequent lymph nodal metastasis (P = 0.0460), vascular invasion (P < 0.0001), and nerve invasion (P < 0.0001). Furthermore, the strong SALL4-positive cases (n = 7, 5 months) had shorter overall survival, when compared to moderate SALL4-positive (n = 46, 9 months) or SALL4-negative cases (n = 73, 7 months), respectively. Our data also suggest that SALL4 may be involved in the regulation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in ICC. Those results for the first time indicate an oncogenic role of SALL4 in ICC. Therefore, SALL4 may serve as a promising therapeutic target for ICC.

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