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Serum Levels of Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Its Clinical Significance

LIN Qu1, HUANG Ming-sheng2, WEN Jing-yun1, DONG Min1, WANG Qing-ming1, WU Xiang-yuan1 ( 1. Department of Oncology; 2. Department of Radiology, The Third Affiliated Hospital of SUN Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510630, China )  
[Objective] To evaluate the correlation of serum macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) levels with clinical features and prognosis in the patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). [Methods] Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays was used to detect the concentrations of MIF in sera of 60 patients with HCC and 30 healthy subjects from January 2004 to May 2006. The association of serum MIF levels with clinical features and prognosis were statistically analyzed. [Results] Serum MIF was found to be significantly elevated in the patients with HCC compared with healthy subjects (median, 34.1 ng/mL versus 15.9 ng/mL, P 0.001). The levels of MIF correlated significantly with presence of venous invasion (P=0.014), advanced clinical tumor-node-metastasis stage (P=0.037) and metastasis (P=0.026). Patients with a serum MIF level of 34.1 ng/mL had a poorer overall survival than those with a level of ≤34.1 ng/mL (2-year survival: 59% versus 28%, Log Rank=6.02, P=0.014). Multivariate analyses showed that serum MIF level was a significant and independent prognostic factor of survival.[Conclusions] MIF cytokine may be directly or indirectly involved in the progression of HCC. These finding indicate that serum MIF may be a useful biological marker of tumor invasiveness and prognosis for patients with HCC.
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