The high expression of TNF-α and NF-κB in tumor microenvironment predicts good prognosis of patients with BCLC-0-B hepatocellular carcinoma

Haoran Li, Yanhua Wang, Mao Zhang, Jie Hu, Zixiang Li, Bing Han


Background: In hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), inflammatory factors play an important role, but their effects on the prognosis of patients with HCC are still not very clear.
Methods: Immunohistochemical staining was used to detect the expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) in tumour tissues of Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer-0-B stage (BCLC-0-B) patients with HCC. The relationship between TNF-α and NF-κB expression and clinicopathological features was analysed by χ2 test. Kaplan-Meier analysis and the log-rank test were used to compare the prognoses of TNF-α and NF-κB high and low-expression groups among HCC patients. The Cox proportional hazard model was used to analyse HCC prognosis by univariate and multivariate analysis.
Results: Patients with HCC had significantly longer survival times in the TNF-α/NF-κB high-coexpression group (P<0.05). High expression of TNF-α and NF-κB is an independent prognostic factor predicting postoperative survival and recurrence in patients with HCC (P<0.05).
Conclusions: High expression of TNF-α and NF-κB in the HCC microenvironment can predict survival, and patients with high expression have longer survival times and slowing the recurrence time than those in the low-expression group.