, Volume 135, Issue 3, pp 439-449
Date: 10 Sep 2008

Tumor-infiltrating macrophages can predict favorable prognosis in hepatocellular carcinoma after resection

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To evaluate the prognostic value of tumor-associated macrophages (TAM), individually or synergistically with CD45RO + memory T cells (TM), in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients following resection.


The infiltration of TAM and TM was assessed by immunohistochemistry in tissue microarray containing 302 HCC specimens. Correlations between TAM/TM infiltration and clinicopathologic features, disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were statistically analyzed.


High TAM infiltration was associated with both improved DFS (P = 0.0021) and OS (P = 0.0481). Multivariate analysis identified TAM infiltration as independent prognostic factor for DFS (P = 0.004) and OS (P = 0.049). A second analysis clarified the synergistic effect of TAM&TM infiltration for DFS (P = 0.004) and OS (P = 0.040).


Both TAM infiltration alone and concomitant infiltration of TAM&TM are associated with improved DFS/OS, suggesting that TAM could protect HCC patients from recurrence/metastasis and prolong survival by distinct mechanisms.

This is an original work by all the authors and no previous presentations, reports, or publications contain any material that appears in the article.
Yi-Wei Li and Shuang-Jian Qiu contributed equally to this work.