FOS-Like Antigen 1 Expression Was Associated With Survival of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Patients

Noura Ali Taha, Ahmed Mahran Shafiq, Abdallah Hedia Mohammed, Amen Hamdy Zaky, Ola M. Omran, Mahmoud Gamal Ameen


Background: Early diagnosis and proper management of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) improve patient prognosis. Several studies attempted to discover new genes to understand the pathogenesis and identify the prognostic and predictive factors in HCC patients, to improve patients overall survival (OS) and maintain their physical and social activity. The transcription factor FOS-like antigen 1 (FOSL1) acts as one of the important prognostic factors in different tumors, and its overexpression correlates with tumors progression and worse patient survival. However, its expression and molecular mechanisms underlying its dysregulation in human HCC remain poorly understood. Our study was conducted to evaluate the expression of FOSL1 in HCC tissues and its relationship with various clinicopathological parameters besides OS.

Methods: This study is a retrospective cohort study conducted among 113 patients with a proven diagnosis of HCC, who underwent tumor resection and received treatment at South Egypt Cancer Institute. Immunohistochemistry for FOSL1 expression and survival curves were conducted followed by statistical analysis.

Results: HCC occurred at older age group and affected males more than females. There was a statistically significant correlation between combined cytoplasmic and nuclear expression of FOSL1 and worse prognosis in HCC patients. There was a statistically significant correlation of FOSL1 expression with histological grade, lymphovascular embolization, and tumor budding where high expression indicated potential deterioration of HCC patients. There was statistically significant correlation between tumor size, tumor grade and FOSL1 expression with the cumulative OS.

Conclusions: Combined cytoplasmic and nuclear FOSL1 expression has significant prognostic association with HCC and diagnostic importance, as it can identify cirrhosis and premalignant lesions that can progress to HCC. Furthermore, Kaplan-Meier survival analysis found that overexpressed FOSL1 was correlated with poor OS.

World J Oncol. 2023;14(4):285-299


Hepatocellular carcinoma; FOSL1; Immunohistochemistry; Overall survival

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