Background/Aim: The evidence on the efficacy of somatostatin analogues in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in humans is conflicting. A variety of human tumors demonstrate somatostatin receptors. All subtypes bind human somatostatin with high affinity, while somatostatin analogues bind with high affinity to somatostatin receptor subtype 2 (sst2). We investigated the sst2 expression in HCC and examined whether HCCs expressing sst2 are a distinct subgroup. Patients and Methods: Forty-five human HCCs were tested for sst2 expression and biological alterations. The proliferative capacity was determined with Ki67 immunostaining and the DNA ploidy status was measured by fluorescent in situ hybridization with a chromosome 1-specific repetitive DNA probe. Expression of tumor suppressor genes (p16, p53 and Rb1) was measured by immunohistochemistry. Results: sst2 expression was detected in 30 tumors (67%). No correlation existed between sst2 expression and the immunoprofiles of the tumor suppressor genes, aneuploidy, proliferation, age, gender, α-fetoprotein levels, tumor size, tumor grade and underlying liver disease. Conclusion: In 67% of the patients with HCC, sst2 could be detected in the tumor. No clinical, pathological or biological characteristics were specific for sst2-positive tumors. Copyright

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Digestive Surgery
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Verhoef, C, van Dekken, H, Hofland, L.J, Zondervan, P.E, de Wilt, J.H.W, van Marion, R, … van Eijck, C.H.J. (2008). Somatostatin receptor in human hepatocellular carcinomas: Biological, patient and tumor characteristics. Digestive Surgery, 25(1), 21–26. doi:10.1159/000117819