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Gene Signature Predicts Survival After Liver Resection

Analysis of non-tumoral tissue samples identifies signature associated with liver cancer survival

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In patients who undergo resection for liver cancer, a gene-expression signature derived from the healthy portion of the liver -- but not from the tumor -- may predict survival, according to a report published online Oct. 15 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Yujin Hoshida, M.D., Ph.D., of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., and colleagues performed gene-expression profiling on tissue samples from 307 patients.

The investigators analyzed gene-expression signature association with survival. While the gene-expression profiles from tumor tissues were not significantly associated with survival, the surrounding non-tumoral tissue profiles were positively associated with survival, according to the researchers.

"How could gene expression in liver tissues located some distance from the site of the recurrence and removed more than two years earlier predict the recurrence?" asks the author of an accompanying editorial. "The most satisfying explanation is that the gene-expression signature is a manifestation of a pre-neoplastic state that either diffusely or focally affects the entire liver."

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