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OBJECTIVE - To investigate the influence of type of surgery (transplant vs resection) on overall survival (OS) in patients with hilar cholangiocarcinoma (H-CCA).
BACKGROUND - Outcomes after resection for H-CCA are poor, yet transplantation is currently only reserved for well-selected patients with unresectable disease.
METHODS - All patients with H-CCA who underwent resection from 2000 to 2015 at 10 institutions were included. Three institutions additionally had active H-CCA transplant protocols with similar selection criteria over similar time periods.
RESULTS - Of 304 patients with suspected H-CCA, 234 underwent attempted resection and 70 were enrolled in a transplant protocol. Excluding incomplete/R2 resections (n = 43), patients who were enrolled, but did not undergo transplant (n = 24), and transplants without confirmed H-CCA diagnoses (n = 5), 191 patients underwent curative-intent resection and 41 curative-intent transplant. Compared with resection, transplant patients were younger (52 vs 65 years; P < 0.001), and more frequently had primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC; 61% vs 2%; P < 0.001) and received chemotherapy and/or radiation (98% vs 57%; P < 0.001). Groups were otherwise similar in demographics and comorbidities. Patients who underwent transplant for confirmed H-CCA diagnosis had improved OS compared with resection (3-year: 72% vs 33%; 5-year: 64% vs 18%; P < 0.001). Among patients who underwent resection for tumors <3 cm with lymph-node negative disease, and excluding PSC patients, transplant was still associated with improved OS (3-year: 54% vs 44%; 5-year: 54% vs 29%; P = 0.03). Transplant remained associated with improved survival on intention-to-treat analysis, even after accounting for tumor size, lymph node status, and PSC (P = 0.049).
CONCLUSIONS - Resection for hilar cholangiocarcinoma that meets criteria for transplantation (<3 cm, lymph-node negative disease) is associated with substantially decreased survival compared to transplant for the same criteria with unresectable disease. Prospective trials are needed and justified.
BACKGROUND - Coffee consumption has been reported to be inversely associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of liver cancer. Caffeine has chemopreventive properties, but whether caffeine is responsible for the coffee-HCC association is not well studied. In addition, few studies have examined the relationship by sex, and no studies have examined whether there is an association between coffee and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC), the second most common type of liver cancer.
METHODS - In the Liver Cancer Pooling Project, a consortium of U.S.-based cohort studies, data from 1,212,893 individuals (HCC, n = 860; ICC, n = 260) in nine cohorts were pooled. Multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using proportional hazards regression.
RESULTS - Higher coffee consumption was associated with lower risk of HCC (HR>3 cups/day vs. non-drinker, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.53-0.99; Ptrend cups/day = <0.0001). More notable reduced risk was seen among women than men (Pinteraction = 0.07). Women who consumed more than three cups of coffee per day were at a 54% lower risk of HCC (HR, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.26-0.81), whereas men had more modest reduced risk of HCC (HR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.63-1.37). The associations were stronger for caffeinated coffee (HR>3 cups/day vs. non-drinker, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.50-1.01) than decaffeinated coffee (HR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.55-1.54). There was no association between coffee consumption and ICC.
CONCLUSIONS - These findings suggest that, in a U.S. population, coffee consumption is associated with reduced risk of HCC.
IMPACT - Further research into specific coffee compounds and mechanisms that may account for these associations is needed.
©2015 American Association for Cancer Research.
UNLABELLED - Shotgun proteomics is a powerful analytic method to characterize complex protein mixtures in combination with multidimensional liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). We used this platform for proteomic characterization of apoptotic bodies in an effort to define the complex protein mixtures found in primary cultures of human intrahepatic biliary epithelial cells (HiBEC), human renal proximal tubular epithelial cells, human bronchial epithelial cells, isolated intrahepatic biliary epithelial cells from explanted primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), and control liver using a total of 24 individual samples. Further, as additional controls and for purposes of comparison, proteomic signatures were also obtained from intact cells and apoptotic bodies. The data obtained from LC-MS/MS, combined with database searches and protein assembly algorithms, allowed us to address significant differences in protein spectral counts and identify unique pathways that may be a component of the induction of the signature inflammatory cytokine response against BECs, including the Notch signaling pathway, interleukin (IL)8, IL6, CXCR2, and integrin signaling. Indeed, there are 11 proteins that localize specifically to apoptotic bodies of HiBEC and eight proteins that were specifically absent in HiBEC apoptotic bodies.
CONCLUSION - Proteomic analysis of BECs from PBC liver compared to normal liver are significantly different, suggesting that an immunological attack affects the repertoire of proteins expressed and that such cells should be thought of as living in an environment undergoing continuous selection secondary to an innate and adaptive immune response, reflecting an almost "Darwinian" bias.
© 2014 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.
The potential for intrahepatic bile duct (IHBD) regeneration in patients with bile duct insufficiency diseases is poorly understood. Notch signaling and Hnf6 have each been shown to be important for the morphogenesis of IHBDs in mice. One congenital pediatric liver disease characterized by reduced numbers of IHBDs, Alagille syndrome, is associated with mutations in Notch signaling components. Therefore, we investigated whether liver cell plasticity could contribute to IHBD regeneration in mice with disruptions in Notch signaling and Hnf6. We studied a mouse model of bile duct insufficiency with liver epithelial cell-specific deficiencies in Hnf6 and Rbpj, a mediator of canonical Notch signaling. Albumin-Cre Hnf6(flox/flox)Rbpj(flox/flox) mice initially developed no peripheral bile ducts. The evolving postnatal liver phenotype was analyzed using IHBD resin casting, immunostaining, and serum chemistry. With age, Albumin-Cre Hnf6(flox/flox)Rbpj(flox/flox) mice mounted a ductular reaction extending through the hepatic tissue and then regenerated communicating peripheral IHBD branches. Rbpj and Hnf6 were determined to remain absent from biliary epithelial cells constituting the ductular reaction and the regenerated peripheral IHBDs. We report the expression of Sox9, a marker of biliary epithelial cells, in cells expressing hepatocyte markers. Tissue analysis indicates that reactive ductules did not arise directly from preexisting hilar IHBDs. We conclude that liver cell plasticity is competent for regeneration of IHBDs independent of Notch signaling via Rbpj and Hnf6.
Copyright © 2014 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In organs, the correct architecture of vascular and ductal structures is indispensable for proper physiological function, and the formation and maintenance of these structures is a highly regulated process. The analysis of these complex, 3-dimensional structures has greatly depended on either 2-dimensional examination in section or on dye injection studies. These techniques, however, are not able to provide a complete and quantifiable representation of the ductal or vascular structures they are intended to elucidate. Alternatively, the nature of 3-dimensional plastic resin casts generates a permanent snapshot of the system and is a novel and widely useful technique for visualizing and quantifying 3-dimensional structures and networks. A crucial advantage of the resin casting system is the ability to determine the intact and connected, or communicating, structure of a blood vessel or duct. The structure of vascular and ductal networks are crucial for organ function, and this technique has the potential to aid study of vascular and ductal networks in several ways. Resin casting may be used to analyze normal morphology and functional architecture of a luminal structure, identify developmental morphogenetic changes, and uncover morphological differences in tissue architecture between normal and disease states. Previous work has utilized resin casting to study, for example, architectural and functional defects within the mouse intrahepatic bile duct system that were not reflected in 2-dimensional analysis of the structure(1,2), alterations in brain vasculature of a Alzheimer's disease mouse model(3), portal vein abnormalities in portal hypertensive and cirrhotic mice(4), developmental steps in rat lymphatic maturation between immature and adult lungs(5), immediate microvascular changes in the rat liver, pancreas, and kidney in response in to chemical injury(6). Here we present a method of generating a 3-dimensional resin cast of a mouse vascular or ductal network, focusing specifically on the portal vein and intrahepatic bile duct. These casts can be visualized by clearing or macerating the tissue and can then be analyzed. This technique can be applied to virtually any vascular or ductal system and would be directly applicable to any study inquiring into the development, function, maintenance, or injury of a 3-dimensional ductal or vascular structure.
UNLABELLED - Notch signaling and hepatocyte nuclear factor-6 (HNF-6) are two genetic factors known to affect lineage commitment in the bipotential hepatoblast progenitor cell (BHPC) population. A genetic interaction involving Notch signaling and HNF-6 in mice has been inferred through separate experiments showing that both affect BHPC specification and bile duct morphogenesis. To define the genetic interaction between HNF-6 and Notch signaling in an in vivo mouse model, we examined the effects of BHPC-specific loss of HNF-6 alone and within the background of BHPC-specific loss of recombination signal binding protein immunoglobulin kappa J (RBP-J), the common DNA-binding partner of all Notch receptors. Isolated loss of HNF-6 in this mouse model fails to demonstrate a phenotypic variance in bile duct development compared to control. However, when HNF-6 loss is combined with RBP-J loss, a phenotype consisting of cholestasis, hepatic necrosis, and fibrosis is observed that is more severe than the phenotype seen with Notch signaling loss alone. This phenotype is associated with significant intrahepatic biliary system abnormalities, including an early decrease in biliary epithelial cells, evolving to ductular proliferation and a decrease in the density of communicating peripheral bile duct branches. In this in vivo model, simultaneous loss of both HNF-6 and RBP-J results in down-regulation of both HNF-1β and Sox9 (sex determining region Y-related HMG box transcription factor 9).
CONCLUSION - HNF-6 and Notch signaling interact in vivo to control expression of downstream mediators essential to the normal development of the intrahepatic biliary system. This study provides a model to investigate genetic interactions of factors important to intrahepatic bile duct development and their effect on cholestatic liver disease phenotypes.
Copyright © 2011 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.
Abnormal Notch signaling in humans results in Alagille syndrome, a pleiotropic disease characterized by a paucity of intrahepatic bile ducts (IHBDs). It is not clear how IHBD paucity develops as a consequence of atypical Notch signaling, whether by a developmental lack of bile duct formation, a post-natal lack of branching and elongation or an inability to maintain formed ducts. Previous studies have focused on the role of Notch in IHBD development, and demonstrated a dosage requirement of Notch signaling for proper IHBD formation. In this study, we use resin casting and X-ray microtomography (microCT) analysis to address the role of Notch signaling in the maintenance of formed IHBDs upon chronic loss or gain of Notch function. Our data show that constitutive expression of the Notch1 intracellular domain in bi-potential hepatoblast progenitor cells (BHPCs) results in increased IHBD branches at post-natal day 60 (P60), which are maintained at P90 and P120. By contrast, loss of Notch signaling via BHPC-specific deletion of RBP-J (RBP KO), the DNA-binding partner for all Notch receptors, results in progressive loss of intact IHBD branches with age. Interestingly, in RBP KO mice, we observed a reduction in bile ducts per portal vein at P60; no further reduction had occurred at P120. Thus, bile duct structures are not lost with age; instead, we propose a model in which BHPC-specific loss of Notch signaling results in an initial developmental defect resulting in fewer bile ducts being formed, and in an acquired post-natal defect in the maintenance of intact IHBD architecture as a result of irresolvable cholestasis. Our studies reveal a previously unappreciated role for Notch signaling in the post-natal maintenance of an intact communicating IHBD structure, and suggest that liver defects observed in Alagille syndrome patients might be more complex than bile duct paucity.
BACKGROUND - Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (RFA) has been widely accepted as an alternative to surgery for small hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In RFA, a portion of liver tissue surrounding tumour is also ablated to achieve a safety margin. The intrahepatic bile duct may be injured and result in chronic bile duct dilatation upstream of the injured site. However, the impact of such an injury on the overall prognosis has been unclear.
METHODS - Patients who showed bile duct dilatation following RFA were identified by a retrospective review of imaging studies. Each dilatation was classified as mild (limited to one hepatic subsegment) or severe (affecting two or more subsegments). The relation between the incidence of intrahepatic bile duct dilatation and HCC recurrence or survival was analysed using proportional hazard models.
RESULTS - Among 589 consecutive HCC patients treated with RFA, 70 (11.9%) and 21 (3.6%) patients showed mild and severe bile duct dilatation respectively. Patients with severe dilatation, but not those with mild dilatation, had lower survival and higher HCC recurrence than patients without dilatation. Severe dilatation, but not mild dilatation, was significantly associated with death [hazard ratio (HR) 2.17, P=0.035] and recurrence (HR 2.89, P<0.001).
CONCLUSION - Whereas mild bile duct dilatation after RFA is clinically negligible, bile duct dilatation affecting two or more subsegments should be regarded as a complication that may affect the prognosis and should be observed carefully.
© 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.