Dendritic cell infiltration and prognosis of human hepatocellular carcinoma

  • Xiao-Yan Cai
  • Qiang Gao
  • Shuang-Jian Qiu
  • Sheng-Long Ye
  • Zhi-Quan Wu
  • Jia Fan
  • Zhao-You Tang
Original Paper


Aim: To elucidate the relationship between local immunocompetent cells and prognosis of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after resection. Methods: HE staining and immunohistochemical study were carried out on specimens from patients underwent surgical resection. Local immunocompetent cells, such as dendritic cells (DCs), memory T cells, CD3+ T lymphocytes and CD8+ T lymphocytes, were counted and their relationships with tumor-free survival rate were analyzed by grouping DCs with the T lymphocytes retrospectively. Results: The number grade of infiltrating immunocompetent cells in HCC nodules and pericancerous tissues under HE staining had no significant correlation with tumor-free survival time (P=0.054, 0.071, respectively). DCs were mainly among tumor cells, encircling tumor cells with their pseudopodia and were in contact with T lymphocytes. A certain number of DCs in HCC nodules (≥25/10HPF) statistically correlated to tumor-free survival time (P=0.005), while a certain number of DCs in pericancerous tissues (≥28/10HPF) had no correlation with tumor-free survival time (P=0.329). The number of memory T cells, CD3+ T lymphocytes and CD8+ T lymphocytes in HCC nodules strongly correlated to tumor-free survival time (P=0.003, 0.005, 0.037, respectively). The tumor-free survival rate curves revealed that the more DCs or together with memory T cells/CD3+ T lymphocytes or that the more CD8+ T lymphocytes were detected in HCC nodules, the better the prognosis would be. Conclusions: Marked infiltration of DCs in HCC nodules was closely related to the prognosis of HCC after surgical resection and can be served as a predictive index for recurrence and metastasis of HCC.


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) Dendritic cells (DCs) T lymphocytes Prognosis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiao-Yan Cai
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qiang Gao
    • 1
  • Shuang-Jian Qiu
    • 1
  • Sheng-Long Ye
    • 1
  • Zhi-Quan Wu
    • 1
  • Jia Fan
    • 1
  • Zhao-You Tang
    • 1
  1. 1.Liver Cancer Institute and Zhong Shan HospitalFudan UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of General SurgeryGongli Hospital of ShanghaiShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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