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Open AccessArticle

Association of TIM-3 with BCLC Stage, Serum PD-L1 Detection, and Response to Transarterial Chemoembolization in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School of Athens, Hippokration Hospital, 115 27 Athens, Greece
Department of Gastroenterology, G. Gennimatas General Hospital, 115 27 Athens, Greece
Department of Radiology, Athens University, Attikon Hospital, Chaidari, 124 62 Athens, Greece
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cancers 2020, 12(1), 212;
Received: 21 November 2019 / Revised: 8 January 2020 / Accepted: 13 January 2020 / Published: 15 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC))
Considering the increasing importance of immune checkpoints in tumor immunity we investigated the clinical relevance of serum T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain-3 (TIM-3) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Serum TIM-3 levels were measured and their association with HCC stage and the detection of serum programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) were assessed. In patients submitted to transarterial chemoembolization (TACE), pre- and 1-week post-treatment TIM-3 levels were also evaluated. We studied 53 HCC patients with BCLC stages: 0 (5.7%), A (34%), B (32.1%), C (22.6%), and D (5.7%). The patients with advanced HCC (BCLC C) had significantly higher TIM-3 levels than patients with BCLC A (p = 0.009) and BCLC B (p = 0.019). TIM-3 levels were not associated with HCC etiology (p = 0.183). PD-L1 detection (9/53 patients) correlated with TIM-3 levels (univariate analysis, p = 0.047). In 33 patients who underwent TACE, post-treatment TIM-3 levels (231 pg/mL, 132–452) were significantly higher than pre-TACE levels (176 pg/mL, 110–379), (p = 0.036). Complete responders had higher post-TACE TIM-3 levels (534 pg/mL, 370–677) than partial responders (222 pg/mL, 131–368), (p = 0.028). Collectively, TIM-3 may have a role in anti-tumor immunity following TACE, setting a basis for combining immunotherapy and chemoembolization. View Full-Text
Keywords: HCC; TIM-3; TACE; immune checkpoint HCC; TIM-3; TACE; immune checkpoint
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tampaki, M.; Ionas, E.; Hadziyannis, E.; Deutsch, M.; Malagari, K.; Koskinas, J. Association of TIM-3 with BCLC Stage, Serum PD-L1 Detection, and Response to Transarterial Chemoembolization in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Cancers 2020, 12, 212.

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