The expression of VEGF and cyclin D1/EGFR in common primary liver carcinomas in Egypt: an immunohistochemical study

27 Nov 2023
Dina Sweed, Shaymaa Sabry El Gammal, Shimaa Kilany, Shimaa Abdelsattar, Sara Mohamed Abd Elhamed

Background: The most common types of primary malignant liver tumours are hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). Treatment options for patients who are inoperable/advanced, or recurring are challenging. Cyclin D1, epidermal growth factor (EGFR) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGR) are common carcinogenic proteins that have potential therapeutic targets in various cancers. They have been implicated in the development of HCC and CCA. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the oncogenic function expression of cyclin D1, EGFR and VEGF in HCC and CCA of Egyptian patients. This could help to validate their therapeutic potential.

Material and methods: Tumour cases were selected from 82 cases of primary liver carcinomas, with 58 cases being from HCC and 24 cases from CCA compared to 51 nontumour adjacent liver cases and 18 from normal liver tissue. The immunohistochemical study of cyclin D1, EGFR and VEGR was conducted.

Results: Cyclin D1, EGFR and VEGF are overexpressed in HCC and CCA as compared to the control group (p < 0.001). Cyclin D1 was related to well-differentiated grade and early pathologic stage in HCC (p = 0.016 and p = 0.042, respectively). The well-differentiated grade showed significantly higher VEGF levels (p = 0.04). In the CCA group, however, EGFR was strongly related to high tumour size (p = 0.047). EGFR and VEGF were overexpressed in HCC raised in the non-cirrhotic liver compared to those developed in posthepatitic liver cirrhosis (p = 0.003 and p = 0.014). 

Conclusion: Cyclin D1, EGFR and VEGF shared significant overexpression in HCC and CCA. EGFR and VEGF may play an oncogenic function in the development of HCC in non-cirrhotic liver. Furthermore, cyclin D1 and VEGF may play a good prognostic function in HCC, but EGFR may play a bad prognostic role in CCA.

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