, Volume 43, Issue 6, pp 654-660,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 29 Nov 2012

High expression of cancer stem cell markers in cholangiolocellular carcinoma



Cholangiolocellular carcinoma (CLC) is an extremely rare malignant liver tumor. It is thought to originate from the ductules and/or canals of Hering, where hepatic stem cells (HpSC) are located, but there are few reports on cancer stem cell markers in CLC. Thus, we evaluated the significance of cancer stem cell markers, including CD133, CD44, and EpCAM, in CLC.


The subjects of this study were three patients with CLC and one patient with an intermediate type of combined hepatocellular cholangiocarcinoma (CHC). The cancer cell markers, CK7, CK19, and EMA, were evaluated immunohistochemically.


Histological examination of the CLC revealed morphologically cholangiolar features and immunohistochemical examination revealed positivity for CD133, CD44, and EpCAM. On the other hand, in the intermediate type of CHC, only CD44 was positive, whereas CD133 and EpCAM were negative.


CLC may have stronger features derived from HpSCs than an intermediate type of CHC.