Dr. Samuel So is the Lui Hac Minh Professor and Professor of Surgery. He is also the founder of the multidisciplinary liver cancer program at the Stanford Cancer Center, and the founder and executive director of the Asian Liver Center at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. So is a native of Hong Kong and received his surgical training at the University of Hong Kong and the University of Minnesota where he also completed his fellowship in multi-organ transplantation. His current clinical area of specialty is multidisciplinary approach in the treatment of primary liver cancer and management of chronic hepatitis B infection. He is listed among the Best Doctors in America.

Dr. So is recognized worldwide for his expertise in chronic hepatitis B and primary liver cancer prevention, research, treatment and health policy. He served as a consultant for the FDA and was a member and co-chair of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health’s Hepatitis B Expert Panel. He was also a member of the Board of Population Health and Public Health Practices of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, and a committee member of the 2010 IOM report on “Hepatitis and Liver Cancer: a national strategy for the prevention and control of hepatitis B and C”, and the 2016 National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report on “Eliminating the Public Health Problem of Hepatitis B and C in the United States. He also serves as a special adviser on viral hepatitis for the World Health Organization Western Pacific regional office. In 2010, he received the CDC and ATSDR Honor Award for mobilizing people and resources in ways that have changed global public health policies related to hepatitis B, and was recognized in 2014 by the White House for global and national leadership in the prevention and control of viral hepatitis.

Clinical Focus

  • Cancer > GI Oncology
  • Liver Cancer - Surgery
  • General Surgery
  • Multidisciplinary liver cancer treatment
  • Liver cancer prevention

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Pediatric Committee, United Network of Organ Sharing (1989 - 1992)
  • Pediatric Committee, American Society of Transplant Physicians (1993 - 1995)
  • Liver and Intra-Abdominal Organs Committee, American Society of Transplant Physicians (1995 - 1999)
  • Co-Chairman and co-founder, Scientific Advisory Board, Studies in Pediatric Liver Transplantation (1995 - 2001)
  • Member of the Scientific Advisory Board, Studies in Pediatric Liver Transplantation (1995 - Present)
  • Founder and Director, Asian Liver Center, Stanford University (1996 - Present)
  • Informatics and Data Committee, American Society of Transplant Surgeons (1997 - 2000)
  • Scientific Studies Committee, American Society of Transplantation (1997 - 2000)
  • Founder and Director , Multidisciplinary Liver Cancer Program, Stanford University Medical Center (1998 - Present)
  • Consultant, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, FDA, DHHS (1999 - 2013)
  • Member of the Board, American Cancer Society, California Division (2002 - 2006)
  • Chair, Cancer Site Team, American Cancer Society, California Division (2003 - 2005)
  • Member of the National Assembly, American Cancer Society (2003 - 2005)
  • Lui Hac Minh Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine (2003 - Present)
  • Member in Population Sciences, Stanford Cancer Institute (2003 - Present)
  • Appointments and Promotion Committee, Stanford University School of Medicine (2004 - 2007)
  • Chair, National Task Force on Hepatitis B: Focus on Asian & Pacific Islander Americans (2004 - 2010)
  • Consultant, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2005 - Present)
  • Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (2006 - 2012)
  • Appointments and Promotion Committee, Stanford University School of Medicine (2007 - 2010)
  • Committee on the Prevention and Control of Viral Hepatitis in the United States, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (2008 - 2010)
  • Roundtable on Health Disparity, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (2008 - 2012)
  • Conflict of Interest Committee, Stanford University School of Medicine (2008 - Present)
  • Special Adviser on Viral Hepatitis, World Health Organization Western Pacific Region (2011 - Present)
  • Hepatitis Expert Resource Panel, World Health Organization Western Pacific Region (2013 - Present)
  • Civil Society Reference Group on Hepatitis, World Health Organization, Geneva (2014 - Present)
  • Committee on a National Strategy for the Elimination of Hepatitis B & C, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (2015 - 2017)
  • Fellow, Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health (2015 - Present)
  • Member, Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences (2015 - Present)
  • Strategic Technical Advisory Committee for Viral Hepatitis in the Western Pacific, World Health Organization Western Pacific Region (2015 - Present)
  • Affiliate member, Bio-X (2016 - Present)

Honors & Awards

  • Ron Smith Legacy Award, SF Hep B Free - Bay Area (2018)
  • Christopher NH Jenkins Cancer Control Award, Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training (2015)
  • Ronald P Bangasser MD, Immunization Leadership Award, California Immunization Coalition (2014)
  • White House award in recognition of leadership in prevention and treatment of viral hepatitis, The White House, Washington DC (2014)
  • Outstanding Individual of the Year, Asian American Women Alliance, Santa Clara, California (2011)
  • 12th Outstanding World Chinese Award, World Chinese Business Foundation, Hong Kong (2010)
  • Asian American Achievement Award, Organization of Chinese Americans, San Mateo, California (2010)
  • Excellence in Partnering Award-Domestic, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention (2010)
  • Honor Award for Excellence in Partnering in Global Health, CDC and ATSDR (2010)
  • Outstanding American by Choice Award, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (2010)
  • Asian and Pacific Heritage Award for Excellence in Science, California Asian Pacific Islander Joint Legislative Caucus (2009)
  • Jade Ribbon HBV Outstanding Contribution Award, Second National Workshop of Chinese HBV Carriers' Community, China (2009)
  • 10th Annual Salute to Excellence Award, American Liver Foundation (2008)
  • Angel in Medicine, Angels in Medicine (2008)
  • Fervent Global Love of Lives Award, Chou-Ta Kuan Cultural and Education Foundation, Taiwan (2008)
  • 34th Annual Award, Chinese Hospital, San Francisco (2007)
  • Star Award for Community Service, Asian Americans for Community Involvement, San Jose (2007)
  • Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare, Marquis Who's Who LCC (2006-present)
  • Who’s Who in Science and Technology, Marquis Who’s Who LLC. (2005-present)
  • 2005 National Leadership Award, New York University Center for the Study of Asian American Health (2005)
  • Community Hero Award, World Journal Chinese Newspaper (2004)
  • Local Hero of the Year Award, KQED Public Radio and Television, San Francisco (2004)
  • Profile of Excellence Award, ABC 7 Television, San Francisco (2004)
  • Who’s Who in America, Marquis Who's Who LLC. (2003-present)
  • Ally Award, Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center, San Francisco (2003)
  • Santiago Ramon y Cajal Award for Outstanding Research in Minority Health, National Minority Health Month, Washington, DC (2003)
  • Stanford University Asian Faculty Award, Stanford University (2003)
  • Commendation for outreach and increasing awareness about hepatitis B and liver cancer prevention, City and County of San Francisco (2002)
  • Commendation for Public Service, City of Milpitas, CA (2001)
  • Distinguished Asian Leadership Award, Asian Business League of San Francisco (2001)
  • Distinguished Physician Award, Chinese American Physicians Society (2000)
  • Best Doctors in America, Woodard/White Compendium (1998-present)
  • Best Doctors in San Francisco, San Francisco Magazine (1998-present)
  • Best Doctors in Silicon Valley (Surgery), San Jose Magazine (1998-present)

Professional Education

  • Residency:University of Minnesota Dept of Psychiatry (1988) MN
  • Internship:University of Minnesota Dept of Psychiatry (1981) MN
  • Fellowship:University of Minnesota School of Medicine Registrar (1989) MN
  • Board certification, American Board of Surgery, General Surgery (1990)
  • Fellowship, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, Multi-organ Transplantation (1989)
  • Medical Education:University of Hong Kong (1978) China
  • M.B., B.S., University of Hong Kong, Medicine and Surgery (1978)
  • B.A., summa cum laude, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, Microbiology (1973)

Community and International Work

  • Team HBV


    Inspiring youth to prevent hepatitis B and liver cancer

    Partnering Organization(s)

    University and high school students

    Populations Served




    Ongoing Project


    Opportunities for Student Involvement


  • Hep B Moms


    Eliminate perinatal hepatitis B transmission and address gaps in perinatal providers practices

    Partnering Organization(s)

    US CDC, California dept of public health, state perinatl co-ordinators

    Populations Served

    pregnant women in the US



    Ongoing Project


    Opportunities for Student Involvement


  • Santa Clara Hepatitis B Free Campaign, Santa Clara

    Partnering Organization(s)

    Elected officials, Santa Clara dept of public health, business, healthcare and community groups

    Populations Served

    Santa Clara county


    Bay Area

    Ongoing Project


    Opportunities for Student Involvement


  • Asia and Pacific Alliance to Eliminate Viral Hepatitis, Asia


    Global initiative

    Partnering Organization(s)

    US CDC, WHO, ZeShan Foundation

    Populations Served

    Countries in Western Pacific and Southeast Asia regions



    Ongoing Project


    Opportunities for Student Involvement


  • An evidence based hepatitis B online training course for healthcare workers in China, Shandong province, China


    To evaluate and improve hepatitis B knowledge and preventive practices

    Partnering Organization(s)

    Shandong CDC and Dept of Public Health, Videx Inc

    Populations Served

    Healthcare workers



    Ongoing Project


    Opportunities for Student Involvement


  • Hepatitis B youth education and vaccination project, Beijing


    Hepatitis B and liver cancer prevention, education and training

    Partnering Organization(s)

    Beijing CDC, Beijing universities' Red Cross

    Populations Served

    Students in 20 universities in Beijing



    Ongoing Project


    Opportunities for Student Involvement


  • HBV Catch-up vaccination in China, China


    Education and promote HBV vaccination

    Partnering Organization(s)

    China Foundation for Hepatitis Prevention and Control, Guangdong CDC and Dept of Health

    Populations Served

    High school and college students and faculty



    Ongoing Project


    Opportunities for Student Involvement


  • Three-for-Life, San Francisco


    Low cost hepatitis A &B vaccination and HBV testing

    Partnering Organization(s)

    San Francisco Department of Public Health

    Populations Served

    San Francisco residents targeting particularly the high risk Asian American community



    Ongoing Project


    Opportunities for Student Involvement


  • Annual Youth Leadership Conference on API Health, Stanford University


    Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer, ReduceHealth Disparity, Inspire youths

    Partnering Organization(s)

    Center for Disease Control and Prevention, American Cancer Society

    Populations Served

    High school students


    Bay Area

    Ongoing Project


    Opportunities for Student Involvement


  • Evaluate and Develop Strategies for HBV and Liver Cancer Prevention for the Philippines



    Partnering Organization(s)

    American Cancer Society, Philippine Cancer Society and Health Dept

    Populations Served




    Ongoing Project


    Opportunities for Student Involvement



  • Samuel So, Mei-Sze Chua, Hongbo Sun, Dan-Hui, Dorothy Yang, Anya Tsalenko, Brian Jon Peter. "United States Patent 8,357489 Methods for detecting hepatocellular carcinoma", Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University; Agilent Technologies Inc, Jan 22, 2013

Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Through a 4 pronged comprehensive program: translational and clinical research, early detection and treatment, promoting education, awareness and immunization and building partnership, we are working towards the development of new strategies that will lead to the elimination of hepatitis B worldwide and reduce the threat and incidence of liver cancer. Current research efforts focus on evaluating potential new diagnostic and treatment markers and novel targeted therapy for primary liver cancer.

Clinical Trials

  • Identification of New Serum Diagnostic Markers of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Recruiting

    The aim of the study is to see if there any changes in the quality of life for patients that are undergoing radical prostatectomy.

    View full details

  • Combination SBRT With TACE for Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma Not Recruiting

    To determine the efficacy and toxicity of TACE combined with SBRT

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Laurie Ann Columbo, 650-736-0792.

    View full details

  • Genetic Analysis of Liver Cancer Not Recruiting

    Liver cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. While the molecular pathogenesis of liver cancer has been extensively studied, less is known about how the molecular biology of liver cancer influences clinical outcome and treatment response. We are developing a translational research program that will characterize molecular changes in liver cancer. We plan to use molecular information obtained from studying liver tumor tissues to develop new diagnostics and treatment regimens for patients with these cancers. The experimental approach will require freezing fresh tumor tissues obtained from surgical procedures, which will be subsequently used for analysis of DNA, protein and mRNA expression. Many patients with liver cancer are referred to the Stanford Liver Tumor Board for consultation and treatment recommendations. We propose to gather tissue samples from those who subsequently undergo biopsy, liver resection surgery, or transplant surgery.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Mei-Sze Chua, (650) 724 - 3525.

    View full details

  • Microarray Analysis of Gene Expression in Liver Tumors Not Recruiting

    This study aims to study the gene expression profiles of liver tumors to help us understand their biology, and to find new tumor and treatment markers for liver cancer.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Mei-Sze Chua, (650) 724 - 3525.

    View full details

  • Perfusion CT as a Predictor of Treatment Response in Patients With Hepatic Malignancies Not Recruiting

    A research study of liver perfusion (how blood flows to the liver over time). We hope to learn whether perfusion characteristics of liver masses may be predictive of response to treatment and whether liver perfusion characteristics can be used to follow response to treatment.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Elizabeth Chitouras, 650-498-0623.

    View full details

  • Phase III Study of PI-88 in Post-resection Hepatocellular Carcinoma Not Recruiting

    The purpose of this study is to determine if PI-88 is effective and safe in patients who have had surgery to remove primary liver cancer.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Kerry Hsieh, (650) 724 - 7245.

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  • Study of TAC-101 as Second Line Treatment in Patients With Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma Who Received Sorafenib as First Line Therapy Not Recruiting

    The purpose of this study is to determine whether TAC-101 as a second line therapy for patients who received Sorafenib as first line therapy is effective in slowing tumor activity in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. The study is also looking at the safety of TAC-101 following treatment with Sorafenib.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Kerry Hsieh, (650) 724 - 7245.

    View full details

  • Transarterial Chemoembolization vs CyberKnife for Recurrent Hepatocellular Carcinoma Not Recruiting

    Primary Objective: To compare the efficacy of TACE vs. CyberKnife SBRT in the treatment of locally recurrent HCC after initial TACE. Secondary Objectives: 1. To determine the progression-free survival of TACE vs. CyberKnife SBRT 2. To determine the overall survival of TACE vs. CyberKnife SBRT for locally recurrent HCC 3. To determine the toxicities associated with TACE or CyberKnife SBRT for the treatment of recurrent HCC.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Laurie Ann Columbo, (650) 736 - 0792.

    View full details

  • Viral & Host Factors Associated With Hepatitis B Virus-related Hepatocellular Carcinoma Not Recruiting

    Adult liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. The major risk factor for liver cancer is hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. The purpose of the study is to sequence the HBV genome in patients with chronic HBV infection, and in patients with liver cancer resulting from chronic HBV infection. The goal is to identify mutations in the HBV genome that predisposes these high risk individuals to the development of liver cancer.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Mei-Sze Chua, 650-724-3525.

    View full details


  • Public awareness campaign to improve hepatitis B birth dose coverage in Vietnam, Stanford Asian Liver Center, General Department of Preventive Medicine, Vietnam Ministry of Health, WHO Western Pacific Region

    Chronic hepatitis B infection from mother to child transmission is the major cause of chronic liver disease and liver cancer in Vietnam. Although a safe and effective vaccine given within 24 hours of birth could prevent most cases of vertical transmission, many are unaware of its importance in liver cancer prevention, and birth dose coverage in Vietnam remains poor. This project aims to increase public awareness to improve hepatitis B birth dose coverage.



    For More Information:

  • Gansu Province Healthcare Workers and Pregnant Women Hepatitis B Education and Training, Stanford Asian Liver Center, Gansu CDC, Gansu Provincial Health Department, Maternal and Child Health Hospital of Gansu Province, China CDC

    Gaps in pregnant women awareness and inadequate healthcare workers knowledge and practices led to missed opportunities to eliminate mother to child transmission of hepatitis B and early diagnosis, care and treatment of chronic hepatitis B to prevent disease progression leading to liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. The aim of this project is to increase the capacity of the health system of Gansu province to improve hepatitis B prevention, control and medical management with the goal of developing a sustainable public health program that could be scaled up across the province. With a concerted effort that include healthcare workers training using an online course developed by the Asian Liver Center, and routine hepatitis B education of all pregnant women and especially those tested hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positive, the project aims to reduce the transmission and incidence of chronic hepatitis B, ensure all pregnant women were tested for HBsAg, newborns received timely vaccination, and newborns to HBsAg positive mother received hepatitis B immune globulin plus hepatitis B vaccine within 12 hours of birth to prevent perinatal transmission, and tested after completing the vaccination series to make sure they are protected


    Gansu Province, China

    For More Information:

  • Qinghai Province Healthcare Workers and Pregnant Women Hepatitis B Education and Training, Stanford Asian Liver Center, Qinghai CDC, Qinghai Provincial Health Department, Qinghai Maternal and Child Health Hospital

    The aim of this project is to increase the capacity of the health system of Gansu province to improve hepatitis B prevention, control and medical management, and eliminate the stigma of hepatitis B, with the goal of developing a sustainable public health program that could be scaled up across the province. With a concerted effort that include healthcare workers training using an online course developed by the Asian Liver Center, and routine hepatitis B education of all pregnant women and especially those tested hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positive, the project aims to reduce the transmission and incidence of chronic hepatitis B, ensure all pregnant women were tested for HBsAg, newborns received timely vaccination, and newborns to HBsAg positive mother received hepatitis B immune globulin plus hepatitis B vaccine within 12 hours of birth to prevent perinatal transmission, and tested after completing the vaccination series to make sure they are protected. The project will also develop educational videos and materials in Tibetan to raise public awareness in the large ethnic communities in the province.


    Qinghai Province, China

    For More Information:

  • Viral Hepatitis Healthcare Workers Training in Vietnam, Stanford Asian Liver Center, General Department of Preventive Medicine, Vietnam Ministry of Health, WHO Western Pacific Region

    Vietnam has a high burden of liver cancer and chronic liver disease caused by chronic viral infection. To address the gap in healthcare workers viral hepatitis education and training, we would develop a Vietnamese online interactive training course to increase the capacity of the national health system to prevent, care and treat chronic hepatitis B and C




2018-19 Courses

Stanford Advisees


All Publications

  • Barriers to Disease Monitoring and Liver Cancer Surveillance Among Patients with Chronic Hepatitis B in the United States. Journal of community health Ispas, S., So, S., Toy, M. 2018


    Chronic hepatitis B infection (CHB) is a condition that needs ongoing care such as monitoring for liver enzymes (ALT) and HBV DNA tests in treated and untreated patients, and annual imaging evaluation for liver cancer. Although follow-up care and treatment might seem straight forward, an estimated two-thirds of those who are aware of their infection are not seeing a health care provider, and more than half of those who are eligible for treatment do not receive it. This study aimed to compile and examine studies related to the barriers of disease monitoring, treatment, and liver cancer surveillance for CHB patients in the United States (US). A total of 4439 studies on monitoring and surveillance of CHB published between 2007 and 2018 were identified through a search of electronic databases. After critical assessment, the authors included 42 studies, divided into categories: 'patient-related barriers'; 'provider-related barriers'; and 'system-related barriers'. Among the patient-related barriers, one of the most frequent factors invoked in failing to have adequate surveillance was lack of patient's knowledge. In the provider-related barrier category, a lack of disease knowledge and adherence to guidelines was frequently reported. For the system-related barrier category, the only recurrent mention was a lack of clarity in guidelines or lack of guidelines from certain national institutions. This review summarizes and highlights the need for long-term disease management improvement of chronic hepatitis B infection for patients and healthcare providers that care for them.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10900-018-00604-7

    View details for PubMedID 30539329

  • Prevalence of Hepatitis B Vaccination Coverage Versus Serologic Evidence of Hepatitis B Immunity in Children and Adolescents in the United States, 1999-2016 Le, M., Yeo, Y., So, S. K., Gane, E. J., Cheung, R., Nguyen, M. H. WILEY. 2018: 1192A–1193A
  • Population Health And Economic Impacts Of Reaching Chronic Hepatitis B Diagnosis And Treatment Targets In The US. Health affairs (Project Hope) Toy, M., Hutton, D. W., So, S. 2018; 37 (7): 1033–40


    The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have concluded that eliminating the public health problem of chronic hepatitis B is feasible. We examined the economic and public health impact of reaching the World Health Organization targets of having 90percent of chronic hepatitis B cases diagnosed and 80percent being treated by 2030 in the United States with an annual incremental increase in screening and treatment rates. To reach the targets by 2030 would require screening approximately 14.5million adults in at-risk populations to diagnose an estimated 870,000 undiagnosed cases and would result in substantial health gains: an increase of 16.5million quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), and reductions in liver-related deaths of 37percent and in cases of compensated cirrhosis of 24percent, decompensated liver cirrhosis of 51percent, and liver cancer of 35percent. Achieving the targets by 2030 would be highly cost-effective at $103 per QALY and would be cost-saving if the antiviral drug price were no more than $114 per month. Achieving them by 2025 would be cost-saving and would reduce liver-related deaths by 47percent.

    View details for DOI 10.1377/hlthaff.2018.0035

    View details for PubMedID 29985701

  • Suboptimal rates of effective hepatitis B vaccination in adults at high risk of infection in the United States from 1999-2014 Le, M., Lee, D. H., Lee, M., Gane, E., So, S., Nguyen, M. ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV. 2018: S480–S481
  • Effective hepatitis B vaccination by serologic results in the United States: a population-based study from 1999-2016 Le, M., Lee, D. H., Lee, M., Gane, E., So, S., Nguyen, M. ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV. 2018: S480
  • Population health and economic impact of reaching the WHO 2030 targets in chronic hepatitis B diagnosis and treatment in the United States Toy, M., Hutton, D., So, S. ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV. 2018: S147
  • Disparities in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Incidence by Race/Ethnicity and Geographic Area in California: Implications for Prevention. Cancer Yang, B., Liu, J. B., So, S. K., Han, S. S., Wang, S. S., Hertz, A., Shariff-Marco, S., Lin Gomez, S., Rosenberg, P. S., Nguyen, M. H., Hsing, A. W. 2018


    The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has been rising rapidly in the United States. California is an ethnically diverse state with the largest number of incident HCC cases in the country. Characterizing HCC disparities in California may inform priorities for HCC prevention.By using data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results 18-Registry Database and the California Cancer Registry, age-adjusted HCC incidence in California from 2009 through 2013 was calculated by race/ethnicity and neighborhood ethnic enclave status. A geographic analysis was conducted using Medical Service Study Areas (MSSAs) as the geographic unit, and race/ethnicity-specific standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) were calculated to identify MSSAs with higher-than-expected HCC incidence compared with the statewide average.During 2009 through 2013, the age-adjusted incidence of HCC in California was the highest in Asians/Pacific Islanders (APIs) and Hispanics (>100% higher than whites), especially those living in more ethnic neighborhoods (20%-30% higher than less ethnic neighborhoods). Of the 542 MSSAs statewide, 42 had elevated HCC incidence (SIR ≥ 1.5; lower bound of 95% confidence interval > 1) for whites, 14 for blacks, 24 for APIs, and 36 for Hispanics. These MSSAs have 24% to 52% higher proportions of individuals below the 100% federal poverty line than other MSSAs.APIs and Hispanics residing in more ethnic neighborhoods and individuals residing in lower income neighborhoods require more extensive preventive efforts tailored toward their unique risk factor profiles. The current race/ethnicity-specific geographic analysis can be extended to other states to inform priorities for HCC targeted prevention at the subcounty level, eventually reducing HCC burden in the country. Cancer 2018;000:000-000. © 2018 American Cancer Society.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/cncr.31598

    View details for PubMedID 30113700

  • Racial/ethnic- and county-specific prevalence of chronic hepatitis B and its burden in California Hepatology, Medicine and Policy Toy, M., Wei, B., Virdi, T. S., Le, A., Trinh, H., Li, J., Zhang, J., Hsing, A. W., So, S. K., Nguyen, M. H. 2018; 3 (6)
  • Changing Landscape of Liver Cancer in California: A Glimpse Into the Future of Liver Cancer in the United States. Journal of the National Cancer Institute Han, S. S., Kelly, S. P., Li, Y., Yang, B., Nguyen, M., So, S., Rosenberg, P. S., Hsing, A. W. 2018


    Asians and Hispanics currently have the highest incidence rates of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the United States. The numbers of these minority populations are rapidly increasing, reshaping the demographic in the United States and particularly California, where approximately one-third of US Asians and Hispanics reside. With the changing demographic and rising incidence of HCC that has tripled during the past three decades, it is important to forecast the future burden of HCC by age, sex, and race/ethnicity to plan prevention and control strategies for HCC.We used four Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program registries to obtain incidence data for California during 2000 to 2013, and 14 registries to represent non-California states. We applied age-period-cohort models to estimate future HCC incidence rates, and estimated HCC burden by multiplying incidence forecasts by corresponding US Census population projections.Our forecasts for California suggest that in 2030 Hispanics and blacks will have the highest HCC incidence rates and Asians the lowest. While incidence among whites, blacks, and Hispanics in California increased successively for each birth year cohort from 1915 through 1955, incidence among Asians in California decreased for each successive birth year cohort from 1915 through 1975. In contrast, consistent declines were not seen among Asians in the rest of the United States. In California, the estimated burden of HCC is 6482 new cases in 2030, where 80.0% of these patients are older than 65 years (vs 44.5% in 2014). The relative increase of burden in 2030 vs 2014 for this 65 years and older age group is especially high among Hispanics (318.3%), whereas it is the lowest among Asians (53.2%) in California.Prevention efforts in California should target persons currently ages 50 to 64 years who will make up the older age group (>65 years) in 2030, especially among Hispanics with the most rapid increase of HCC burden through 2030.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/jnci/djy180

    View details for PubMedID 30544184

  • Prevalence and predictors of hepatitis B immunization in adults without immunity for hepatitis B from 1999-2014: a population-based study of 27,713 adults in the US Le, M. H., Toy, M., Gane, E. J., So, S., Nguyen, M. H. WILEY. 2017: 1004A
  • Suboptimal rates, trends and predictors of hepatitis B vaccination in a population-based sample of children and adolescents in the United States (US) between 1999 and 2014 Le, M. H., Toy, M., Gane, E. J., So, S., Nguyen, M. H. WILEY. 2017: 1003A
  • Computational Discovery of Niclosamide Ethanolamine, a Repurposed Drug Candidate That Reduces Growth of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells In Vitro and in Mice by Inhibiting Cell Division Cycle 37 Signaling. Gastroenterology Chen, B., Wei, W., Ma, L., Yang, B., Gill, R. M., Chua, M., Butte, A. J., So, S. 2017; 152 (8): 2022-2036


    Drug repositioning offers a shorter approval process than new drug development. We therefore searched large public datasets of drug-induced gene expression signatures to identify agents that might be effective against hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).We searched public databases of messenger RNA expression patterns reported from HCC specimens from patients, HCC cell lines, and cells exposed to various drugs. We identified drugs that might specifically increase expression of genes that are down-regulated in HCCs and reduce expression of genes up-regulated in HCCs using a nonparametric, rank-based pattern-matching strategy based on the Kolmogorov-Smirnov statistic. We evaluated the anti-tumor activity of niclosamide and its ethanolamine salt (NEN) in HCC cell lines (HepG2, Huh7, Hep3B, Hep40, and PLC/PRF/5), primary human hepatocytes, and 2 mouse models of HCC. In one model of HCC, liver tumor development was induced by hydrodynamic delivery of a sleeping beauty transposon expressing an activated form of Ras (v12) and truncated β-catenin (N90). In another mouse model, patient-derived xenografts were established by implanting HCC cells from patients into livers of immunocompromised mice. Tumor growth was monitored by bioluminescence imaging. Tumor-bearing mice were fed a regular chow diet or a chow diet containing niclosamide or NEN. In a separate experiment using patient-derived xenografts, tumor-bearing mice were given sorafenib (the standard of care for patients with advanced HCC), NEN, or niclosamide alone; a combination of sorafenib and NEN; or a combination sorafenib and niclosamide in their drinking water, or regular water (control), and tumor growth was monitored.Based on gene expression signatures, we identified 3 anthelmintics that significantly altered the expression of genes that are up- or down-regulated in HCCs. Niclosamide and NEN specifically reduced the viability of HCC cells: the agents were at least 7-fold more cytotoxic to HCCs than primary hepatocytes. Oral administration of NEN to mice significantly slowed growth of genetically induced liver tumors and patient-derived xenografts, whereas niclosamide did not, coinciding with the observed greater bioavailability of NEN compared with niclosamide. The combination of NEN and sorafenib was more effective at slowing growth of patient-derived xenografts than either agent alone. In HepG2 cells and in patient-derived xenografts, administration of niclosamide or NEN increased expression of 20 genes down-regulated in HCC and reduced expression of 29 genes up-regulated in the 274-gene HCC signature. Administration of NEN to mice with patient-derived xenografts reduced expression of proteins in the Wnt-β-catenin, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3, AKT-mechanistic target of rapamycin, epidermal growth factor receptor-Ras-Raf signaling pathways. Using immunoprecipitation assays, we found NEN to bind cell division cycle 37 protein and disrupt its interaction with heat shock protein 90.In a bioinformatics search for agents that alter the HCC-specific gene expression pattern, we identified the anthelmintic niclosamide as a potential anti-tumor agent. Its ethanolamine salt, with greater bioavailability, was more effective than niclosamide at slowing the growth of genetically induced liver tumors and patient-derived xenografts in mice. Both agents disrupted interaction between cell division cycle 37 and heat shock protein 90 in HCC cells, with concomitant inhibition of their downstream signaling pathways. NEN might be effective for treatment of patients with HCC.

    View details for DOI 10.1053/j.gastro.2017.02.039

    View details for PubMedID 28284560

  • A 3 ' tRNA Derived Small RNA (tsRNA) Affects Translation in Rapidly Dividing Cells and a Target for Hepatocellular Carcinoma Kim, H., Fuchs, G., Wang, S., Wei, W., Zhang, Y., Park, H., Roy-Chaudhuri, B., Zhang, F., Chua, M., So, S., Sarnow, P., Kay, M. A. CELL PRESS. 2017: 34–35
  • Global, Regional, and National Cancer Incidence, Mortality, Years of Life Lost, Years Lived With Disability, and Disability-Adjusted Life-years for 32 Cancer Groups, 1990 to 2015 A Systematic Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study JAMA ONCOLOGY Fitzmaurice, C., Collaboration, G. B., Allen, C., Barber, R. M., Barregard, L., Bhutta, Z. A., Brenner, H., Dicker, D. J., Chimed-Orchir, O., Dandona, R., Dandona, L., Fleming, T., Forouzanfar, M. H., Hancock, J., Hay, R. J., Hunter-Merrill, R., Huynh, C., Hosgood, H. D., Johnson, C. O., Jonas, J. B., Khubchandani, J., Kumar, G. A., Kutz, M., Lan, Q., Larson, H. J., Liang, X., Lim, S. S., Lopez, A. D., MacIntyre, M. F., Marczak, L., Marquez, N., Mokdad, A. H., Pinho, C., Pourmalek, F., Salomon, J. A., Sanabria, J. R., Sandar, L., Sartorius, B., Schwartz, S. M., Shackelford, K. A., Shibuya, K., Stanaway, J., Steiner, C., Sun, J., Takahashi, K., Vollset, S. E., Vos, T., Wagner, J. A., Wang, H., Westerman, R., Zeeb, H., Zoeckler, L., Abd-Allah, F., Ahmed, M. B., Alabed, S., Alam, N. K., Aldhahri, S. F., Alem, G., Alemayohu, M. A., Ali, R., Al-Raddadi, R., Amare, A., Amoako, Y., Artaman, A., Asayesh, H., Atnafu, N., Awasthi, A., Saleem, H. B., Barac, A., Bedi, N., Bensenor, I., Berhane, A., Bemabe, E., Betsu, B., Binagwaho, A., Boneya, D., Campos-Nonato, I., Castaneda-Orjuela, C., Catala-Lopez, F., Chiang, P., Chibueze, C., Chitheer, A., Choi, J., Cowie, B., Damtew, S., das Neves, J., Dey, S., Dharmaratne, S., Dhillon, P., Ding, E., Driscoll, T., Ekwueme, D., Endries, A. Y., Farvid, M., Farzadfar, F., Fernandes, J., Fischer, F., Ghiwot, T. T., Gebru, A., Gopalani, S., Hailu, A., Horino, M., Horita, N., Husseini, A., Huybrechts, I., Inoue, M., Islami, F., Jakovljevic, M., James, S., Javanbakht, M., Jee, S. H., Kasaeian, A., Kedir, M. S., Khader, Y. S., Khang, Y., Kim, D., Leigh, J., Linn, S., Lunevicius, R., Abd El Razek, H. M., Malekzadeh, R., Malta, D. C., Marcenes, W., Markos, D., Melaku, Y. A., Meles, K. G., Mendoza, W., Mengiste, D. T., Meretoja, T. J., Miller, T. R., Mohammad, K. A., Mohammadi, A., Mohammed, S., Moradi-Lakeh, M., Nagel, G., Nand, D., Quyen Le Nguyen, Q., Nolte, S., Ogbo, F. A., Oladimeji, K. E., Oren, E., Pa, M., Park, E., Pereira, D. M., Plass, D., Qorbani, M., Radfar, A., Rafay, A., Rahman, M., Rana, S. M., Soreide, K., Satpathy, M., Sawhney, M., Sepanlou, S. G., Shaikh, M. A., She, J., Shiue, I., Shore, H. R., Shrime, M. G., So, S., Soneji, S., Stathopoulou, V., Stroumpoulis, K., Sufiyan, M. B., Sykes, B. L., Tabares-Seisdedos, R., Tadese, F., Tedla, B. A., Tessema, G. A., Thakur, J. S., Tran, B. X., Ukwaja, K. N., Uzochukwu, B. S., Vlassov, V. V., Weiderpass, E., Terefe, M. W., Yebyo, H. G., Yimam, H. H., Yonemoto, N., Younis, M. Z., Yu, C., Zaidi, Z., Zaki, M. E., Zenebe, Z. M., Murray, C. J., Naghavi, M. 2017; 3 (4): 524-548


    Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. Current estimates on the burden of cancer are needed for cancer control planning.To estimate mortality, incidence, years lived with disability (YLDs), years of life lost (YLLs), and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 32 cancers in 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2015.Cancer mortality was estimated using vital registration system data, cancer registry incidence data (transformed to mortality estimates using separately estimated mortality to incidence [MI] ratios), and verbal autopsy data. Cancer incidence was calculated by dividing mortality estimates through the modeled MI ratios. To calculate cancer prevalence, MI ratios were used to model survival. To calculate YLDs, prevalence estimates were multiplied by disability weights. The YLLs were estimated by multiplying age-specific cancer deaths by the reference life expectancy. DALYs were estimated as the sum of YLDs and YLLs. A sociodemographic index (SDI) was created for each location based on income per capita, educational attainment, and fertility. Countries were categorized by SDI quintiles to summarize results.In 2015, there were 17.5 million cancer cases worldwide and 8.7 million deaths. Between 2005 and 2015, cancer cases increased by 33%, with population aging contributing 16%, population growth 13%, and changes in age-specific rates contributing 4%. For men, the most common cancer globally was prostate cancer (1.6 million cases). Tracheal, bronchus, and lung cancer was the leading cause of cancer deaths and DALYs in men (1.2 million deaths and 25.9 million DALYs). For women, the most common cancer was breast cancer (2.4 million cases). Breast cancer was also the leading cause of cancer deaths and DALYs for women (523 000 deaths and 15.1 million DALYs). Overall, cancer caused 208.3 million DALYs worldwide in 2015 for both sexes combined. Between 2005 and 2015, age-standardized incidence rates for all cancers combined increased in 174 of 195 countries or territories. Age-standardized death rates (ASDRs) for all cancers combined decreased within that timeframe in 140 of 195 countries or territories. Countries with an increase in the ASDR due to all cancers were largely located on the African continent. Of all cancers, deaths between 2005 and 2015 decreased significantly for Hodgkin lymphoma (-6.1% [95% uncertainty interval (UI), -10.6% to -1.3%]). The number of deaths also decreased for esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, and chronic myeloid leukemia, although these results were not statistically significant.As part of the epidemiological transition, cancer incidence is expected to increase in the future, further straining limited health care resources. Appropriate allocation of resources for cancer prevention, early diagnosis, and curative and palliative care requires detailed knowledge of the local burden of cancer. The GBD 2015 study results demonstrate that progress is possible in the war against cancer. However, the major findings also highlight an unmet need for cancer prevention efforts, including tobacco control, vaccination, and the promotion of physical activity and a healthy diet.

    View details for DOI 10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.5688

    View details for Web of Science ID 000399425800017

  • 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine signatures in cell-free DNA provide information about tumor types and stages. Cell research Song, C. X., Yin, S., Ma, L., Wheeler, A., Chen, Y., Zhang, Y., Liu, B., Xiong, J., Zhang, W., Hu, J., Zhou, Z., Dong, B., Tian, Z., Jeffrey, S. S., Chua, M. S., So, S., Li, W., Wei, Y., Diao, J., Xie, D., Quake, S. R. 2017


    5-Hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) is an important mammalian DNA epigenetic modification that has been linked to gene regulation and cancer pathogenesis. Here we explored the diagnostic potential of 5hmC in circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) using a sensitive chemical labeling-based low-input shotgun sequencing approach. We sequenced cell-free 5hmC from 49 patients of seven different cancer types and found distinct features that could be used to predict cancer types and stages with high accuracy. Specifically, we discovered that lung cancer leads to a progressive global loss of 5hmC in cfDNA, whereas hepatocellular carcinoma and pancreatic cancer lead to disease-specific changes in the cell-free hydroxymethylome. Our proof-of-principle results suggest that cell-free 5hmC signatures may potentially be used not only to identify cancer types but also to track tumor stage in some cancers.Cell Research advance online publication 18 August 2017; doi:10.1038/cr.2017.106.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/cr.2017.106

    View details for PubMedID 28820176

  • Reversal of cancer gene expression correlates with drug efficacy and reveals therapeutic targets. Nature communications Chen, B., Ma, L., Paik, H., Sirota, M., Wei, W., Chua, M. S., So, S., Butte, A. J. 2017; 8: 16022


    The decreasing cost of genomic technologies has enabled the molecular characterization of large-scale clinical disease samples and of molecular changes upon drug treatment in various disease models. Exploring methods to relate diseases to potentially efficacious drugs through various molecular features is critically important in the discovery of new therapeutics. Here we show that the potency of a drug to reverse cancer-associated gene expression changes positively correlates with that drug's efficacy in preclinical models of breast, liver and colon cancers. Using a systems-based approach, we predict four compounds showing high potency to reverse gene expression in liver cancer and validate that all four compounds are effective in five liver cancer cell lines. The in vivo efficacy of pyrvinium pamoate is further confirmed in a subcutaneous xenograft model. In conclusion, this systems-based approach may be complementary to the traditional target-based approach in connecting diseases to potentially efficacious drugs.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ncomms16022

    View details for PubMedID 28699633

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5510182

  • A transfer-RNA-derived small RNA regulates ribosome biogenesis. Nature Kim, H. K., Fuchs, G., Wang, S., Wei, W., Zhang, Y., Park, H., Roy-Chaudhuri, B., Li, P., Xu, J., Chu, K., Zhang, F., Chua, M. S., So, S., Zhang, Q. C., Sarnow, P., Kay, M. A. 2017; 552 (7683): 57–62


    Transfer-RNA-derived small RNAs (tsRNAs; also called tRNA-derived fragments) are an abundant class of small non-coding RNAs whose biological roles are not well understood. Here we show that inhibition of a specific tsRNA, LeuCAG3'tsRNA, induces apoptosis in rapidly dividing cells in vitro and in a patient-derived orthotopic hepatocellular carcinoma model in mice. This tsRNA binds at least two ribosomal protein mRNAs (RPS28 and RPS15) to enhance their translation. A decrease in translation of RPS28 mRNA blocks pre-18S ribosomal RNA processing, resulting in a reduction in the number of 40S ribosomal subunits. These data establish a post-transcriptional mechanism that can fine-tune gene expression during different physiological states and provide a potential new target for treating cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nature25005

    View details for PubMedID 29186115

  • Differences in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Incidence and Survival Rates among Asian Mono-Ethnicities Cholankeril, G., Perumpail, R. B., Hu, M., Pham, E. A., Kumari, R., Gish, R., So, S. K., Dhanasekaran, R., Ahmed, A. WILEY. 2016: 860A
  • The global burden of viral hepatitis from 1990 to 2013: findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. Lancet Stanaway, J. D., Flaxman, A. D., Naghavi, M., Fitzmaurice, C., Vos, T., Abubakar, I., Abu-Raddad, L. J., Assadi, R., Bhala, N., Cowie, B., Forouzanfour, M. H., Groeger, J., Mohd Hanafiah, K., Jacobsen, K. H., James, S. L., Maclachlan, J., Malekzadeh, R., Martin, N. K., Mokdad, A. A., Mokdad, A. H., Murray, C. J., Plass, D., Rana, S., Rein, D. B., Richardus, J. H., Sanabria, J., Saylan, M., Shahraz, S., So, S., Vlassov, V. V., Weiderpass, E., Wiersma, S. T., Younis, M., Yu, C., El Sayed Zaki, M., Cooke, G. S. 2016; 388 (10049): 1081-1088


    With recent improvements in vaccines and treatments against viral hepatitis, an improved understanding of the burden of viral hepatitis is needed to inform global intervention strategies. We used data from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study to estimate morbidity and mortality for acute viral hepatitis, and for cirrhosis and liver cancer caused by viral hepatitis, by age, sex, and country from 1990 to 2013.We estimated mortality using natural history models for acute hepatitis infections and GBD's cause-of-death ensemble model for cirrhosis and liver cancer. We used meta-regression to estimate total cirrhosis and total liver cancer prevalence, as well as the proportion of cirrhosis and liver cancer attributable to each cause. We then estimated cause-specific prevalence as the product of the total prevalence and the proportion attributable to a specific cause. Disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) were calculated as the sum of years of life lost (YLLs) and years lived with disability (YLDs).Between 1990 and 2013, global viral hepatitis deaths increased from 0·89 million (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 0·86-0·94) to 1·45 million (1·38-1·54); YLLs from 31·0 million (29·6-32·6) to 41·6 million (39·1-44·7); YLDs from 0·65 million (0·45-0·89) to 0·87 million (0·61-1·18); and DALYs from 31·7 million (30·2-33·3) to 42·5 million (39·9-45·6). In 2013, viral hepatitis was the seventh (95% UI seventh to eighth) leading cause of death worldwide, compared with tenth (tenth to 12th) in 1990.Viral hepatitis is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Unlike most communicable diseases, the absolute burden and relative rank of viral hepatitis increased between 1990 and 2013. The enormous health loss attributable to viral hepatitis, and the availability of effective vaccines and treatments, suggests an important opportunity to improve public health.Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)30579-7

    View details for PubMedID 27394647

  • Evaluation of the first open-access hepatitis B and safe injection online training course for health professionals in China. BMC medical education Wang, J., Feng, Q., Tam, A., Sun, T., Zhou, P., So, S. 2016; 16 (1): 81-?


    Despite the high prevalence of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in China, HBV infection prevention and long-term care knowledge of health professionals is inadequate. To address this knowledge gap, we developed an open-access evidence-based online training course, "KnowHBV", to train health professionals on prevention of HBV transmission and safe injections. We conducted an evaluation of the course with health professionals in China to examine its effectiveness in improving knowledge and learner's satisfaction of the course.Between July and December 2011, 1015 health professionals from selected hospitals and disease control institutions of Shandong province registered for the course and 932 (92 %) completed the three-module course. Participants' demographic information, pre- and post-course knowledge test results and learner's feedback were collected through the course website.Pre-course knowledge assessment confirmed gaps in HBV transmission routes, prevention and long-term care knowledge. Only 50.4 % of participants correctly identified all of the transmission routes of HBV, and only 40.7 % recognized all of the recommended tests to monitor chronically infected persons. The number of participants that answered all six multi-part multiple-choice knowledge questions correctly increased from 183 (19.7 %) before taking the course to 395 (42.4 %) on their first attempt upon completion of the course. Over 90 % of the 898 participants who completed the learner-feedback questionnaire rated the course as 'good' or 'very good'; over 94 % found the course instructional design helpful; 57.5 %, 65.7 % and 68.5 % reported that half or more than half of the course content in modules 1, 2 and 3 respectively provided new information; and 93.2 % of the participants indicated they preferred the online learning over traditional face-to-face classroom learning.The "KnowHBV" online training course appears to be an effective online training tool to improve HBV prevention and care knowledge of the health professionals in China.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/s12909-016-0608-2

    View details for PubMedID 26952079

  • Suppression of ATAD2 inhibits hepatocellular carcinoma progression through activation of p53-and p38-mediated apoptotic signaling ONCOTARGET Lu, W., Chua, M., So, S. K. 2015; 6 (39): 41722-41735

    View details for Web of Science ID 000366119600024

    View details for PubMedID 26497681

  • NDRG1 promotes growth of hepatocellular carcinoma cells by directly interacting with GSK-3 beta and Nur77 to prevent beta-catenin degradation ONCOTARGET Lu, W., Chua, M., Wei, W., So, S. K. 2015; 6 (30): 29847-29859


    The N-myc downstream regulated gene 1 (NDRG1) is significantly associated with advanced tumor stages and poor survival of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), thereby implicating it as a potential target for HCC treatment. We aim to further understand its biological roles in hepatocarcinogenesis, as a means to exploit it for therapeutic purposes. By screening using the ProtoArray® Human Protein Microarrays, we identified glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) and the orphan nuclear receptor (Nur77) as potential interaction partners of NDRG1. These interactions were confirmed in HCC cell lines in vitro by co-immunoprecipitation; and co-localizations of NDRG1 with GSK-3β and Nur77 were observed by immunofluorescence staining. Additionally, high levels of NDRG1 competitively bind to GSK-3β and Nur77 to allow β-catenin to escape degradation, with consequent elevated levels of downstream oncogenic genes. In vivo, we consistently observed that NDRG1 suppression in HCC xenografts decreased β-catenin levels and its downstream target Cyclin D1, with concomitant tumor growth inhibition. Clinically, the over-expression of NDRG1 in HCC patient samples is positively correlated with GSK-3β-9ser (│R│= 0.28, p = 0.01), Nur77 (│R│= 0.42, p < 0.001), and β-catenin (│R│= 0.32, p = 0.003) expressions. In conclusion, we identified GSK-3β and Nur77 as novel interaction partners of NDRG1. These protein-protein interactions regulate the turnover of β-catenin and subsequent downstream signaling mediated by β-catenin in HCC cells, and provides potential targets for future therapeutic interventions.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000363183200105

    View details for PubMedID 26359353

  • Tankyrase inhibitors attenuate WNT/ß-catenin signaling and inhibit growth of hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Oncotarget Ma, L., Wang, X., Jia, T., Wei, W., Chua, M., So, S. 2015; 6 (28): 25390-25401


    Deregulated WNT/β-catenin signaling contributes to the development of a subgroup of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the second leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Within this pathway, the tankyrase enzymes (TNKS1 and TNKS2) degrade AXIN and thereby enhance β-catenin activity. We evaluate TNKS enzymes as potential therapeutic targets in HCC, and the anti-tumor efficacy of tankyrase inhibitors (XAV939, and its novel nitro-substituted derivative WXL-8) in HCC cells. Using semi-quantitative RT-PCR, we found significantly elevated levels of TNKS1/2 mRNA in tumor liver tissues compared to adjacent non-tumor livers, at protein levels only TNKS1 is increased. In HepG2, Huh7cells, siRNA-mediated knockdown suppression of endogenous TNKS1 and TNKS2 reduced cell proliferation, together with decreased nuclear β-catenin levels. XAV939 and WXL-8 inhibited cell proliferation and colony formation in HepG2, Huh7, and Hep40 cells (p < 0.05), with stabilization of AXIN1 and AXIN2, and decreased β-catenin protein levels. XAV939 and WXL-8 also attenuated rhWNT3A-induced TOPflash luciferase reporter activity in HCC cells, indicating reduced β-catenin transcriptional activity, consistent with decreased nuclear β-catenin levels. In vivo, intra-tumor injections of XAV939 or WXL-8 significantly inhibited the growth of subcutaneous HepG2 xenografts (P < 0.05). We suggest that tankyrase inhibition is a potential therapeutic approach for treating a subgroup HCC with aberrant WNT/β-catenin signaling pathway.

    View details for DOI 10.18632/oncotarget.4455

    View details for PubMedID 26246473

  • Fatal Accelerated Cirrhosis after Imported HEV Genotype 4 Infection EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES Perumpail, R. B., Ahmed, A., Higgins, J. P., So, S. K., Cochran, J. L., Drobeniuc, J., Mixson-Hayden, T. R., Teo, C. 2015; 21 (9): 1679-1681

    View details for DOI 10.3201/eid2109.150300

    View details for Web of Science ID 000359894000036

    View details for PubMedID 26291424

  • Medical training fails to prepare providers to care for patients with chronic hepatitis B infection. World journal of gastroenterology Chao, S. D., Wang, B., Chang, E. T., Ma, L., So, S. K. 2015; 21 (22): 6914-6923


    To investigate physicians' knowledge including chronic hepatitis B (CHB) diagnosis, screening, and management in various stages of their training.A voluntary 20-question survey was administered in Santa Clara County, CA where Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) account for a third of the population. Among the 219 physician participants, there were 63 interns, 60 second-year residents, 26 chief residents and 70 attending physicians. The survey asked questions regarding respondents' demographics, general hepatitis B virus knowledge questions (i.e., transmission, prevalence, diagnostic testing, prevention, and treatment options), as well as, self-reported practice behavior and confidence in knowledge.Knowledge about screening and managing patients with CHB was poor: only 24% identified the correct tests to screen for CHB, 13% knew the next steps for patients testing positive for CHB, 18% knew the high prevalence rate among API, and 31% knew how to screen for liver cancer. Wald chi-square analysis determined the effect of training level on knowledge; in all cases except for knowledge of liver cancer screening (P = 0.0032), knowledge did not significantly increase with length in residency training or completion of residency.Even in a high-risk region, both medical school and residency training have not adequately prepared physicians in the screening and management of CHB.

    View details for DOI 10.3748/wjg.v21.i22.6914

    View details for PubMedID 26078568

  • Copy number gain of granulin-epithelin precursor (GEP) at chromosome 17q21 associates with overexpression in human liver cancer BMC CANCER Yung, M. K., Lo, K. W., Yip, C. W., Chung, G. T., Tong, C. Y., Cheung, P. F., Cheung, T. T., Poon, R. T., So, S., Fan, S. T., Cheung, S. T. 2015; 15

    View details for DOI 10.1186/s12885-015-1294-x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000353024400004

    View details for PubMedID 25885205

  • Suppressing the CDC37 cochaperone in hepatocellular carcinoma cells inhibits cell cycle progression and cell growth. Liver international Wang, Z., Wei, W., Sun, C. K., Chua, M., So, S. 2015; 35 (4): 1403-1415


    The molecular cochaperone CDC37 regulates the activities of multiple protein kinases, and is an attractive broad-spectrum target in many types of cancers in which it is over-expressed. This study investigates the antitumour effects of inhibiting CDC37 in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).A total of 91 patients were enrolled for CDC37 mRNA detection by using quantitative real-time PCR. Cell proliferation, gene expression changes and tumourigenicity were determined by targeting CDC37 using RNA interference in human hepatoma cell lines.We confirmed the significant over-expression of CDC37 transcript and protein in HBV-associated HCC patients. Using a CDC37-specific small oligo-siRNA, we silenced CDC37 expression in HepG2 and Huh7 hepatoma cell lines, and observed inhibition of in vitro cell proliferation, cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase, and enhanced apoptosis. Specifically, we found concomitant down-regulation of Cyclin D1, CDK4, and pRB (S807/811 and S795) upon CDC37 suppression, which could mediate the arrest of cell cycle progression at the G1 phase. Gene expression profiling further identified several genes involved in cell proliferation, cell cycle progression, and apoptosis that are regulated by CDC37 suppression. Huh7 cells with stable knockdown of CDC37 showed decreased in vitro colony formation ability, and significantly slowed xenograft growth in vivo.On the basis of the observed antitumour effects of inhibiting CDC37 expression, we propose that CDC37 is a promising therapeutic target in HCC. Its ability to regulate multiple pathways makes it potentially valuable in treating the heterogeneous subtypes of this malignancy.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/liv.12651

    View details for PubMedID 25098386

  • Global, regional, and national age-sex specific all-cause and cause-specific mortality for 240 causes of death, 1990-2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 LANCET Naghavi, M., Wang, H., Lozano, R., Davis, A., Liang, X., Zhou, M., Vollset, S. E., Ozgoren, A. A., Abdalla, S., Abd-Allah, F., Aziz, M. I., Abera, S. F., Aboyans, V., Abraham, B., Abraham, J. P., Abuabara, K. E., Abubakar, I., Abu-Raddad, L. J., Abu-Rmeileh, N. M., Achoki, T., Adelekan, A., Ademi, Z. N., Adofo, K., Adou, A. K., Adsuar, J. C., Aernlov, J., Agardh, E. E., Akena, D., Al Khabouri, M. J., Alasfoor, D., Albittar, M., Alegretti, M. A., Aleman, A. V., Alemu, Z. A., Alfonso-Cristancho, R., Alhabib, S., Ali, M. K., Ali, R., Alla, F., Al Lami, F., Allebeck, P., AlMazroa, M. A., Salman, R. A., Alsharif, U., Alvarez, E., Alviz-Guzman, N., Amankwaa, A. A., Amare, A. T., Ameli, O., Amini, H., Ammar, W., Anderson, H. R., Anderson, B. O., Antonio, C. A., Anwari, P., Apfel, H., Cunningham, S. A., Arsenijevic, V. S., Al Artaman, Asad, M. M., Asghar, R. J., Assadi, R., Atkins, L. S., Atkinson, C., Badawi, A., Bahit, M. C., Bakfalouni, T., Balakrishnan, K., Balalla, S., Banerjee, A., Barber, R. M., Barker-Collo, S. L., Barquera, S., Barregard, L., Barrero, L. H., Barrientos-Gutierrez, T., Basu, A., Basu, S., Basulaiman, M. O., Beardsley, J., Bedi, N., Beghi, E., Bekele, T., Bell, M. L., Benjet, C., Bennett, D. A., Bensenor, I. M., Benzian, H., Bertozzi-Villa, A., Beyene, T. J., Bhala, N., Bhalla, A., Bhutta, Z. A., Bikbov, B., Bin Abdulhak, A., Biryukov, S., Blore, J. D., Blyth, F. M., Bohensky, M. A., Borges, G., Bose, D., Boufous, S., Bourne, R. R., Boyers, L. N., Brainin, M., Brauer, M., Brayne, C. E., Brazinova, A., Breitborde, N., Brenner, H., Briggs, A. D., Brown, J. C., Brugha, T. S., Buckle, G. C., Bui, L. N., Bukhman, G., Burch, M., Nonato, I. R., Carabin, H., Cardenas, R., Carapetis, J., Carpenter, D. O., Caso, V., Castaneda-Orjuela, C. A., Castro, R. E., Catala-Lopez, F., Cavalleri, F., Chang, J., Charlson, F. C., Che, X., Chen, H., Chen, Y., Chen, J. S., Chen, Z., Chiang, P. P., Chimed-Ochir, O., Chowdhury, R., Christensen, H., Christophi, C. A., Chuang, T., Chugh, S. S., Cirillo, M., Coates, M. M., Coffeng, L. E., Coggeshall, M. S., Cohen, A., Colistro, V., Colquhoun, S. M., Colomar, M., Cooper, L. T., Cooper, C., Coppola, L. M., Cortinovis, M., Courville, K., Cowie, B. C., Criqui, M. H., Crump, J. A., Cuevas-Nasu, L., Leite, I. d., Dabhadkar, K. C., Dandona, L., Dandona, R., Dansereau, E., Dargan, P. I., Dayama, A., De la Cruz-Gongora, V., de la Vega, S. F., De Leo, D., Degenhardt, L., Del Pozo-Cruz, B., Dellavalle, R. P., Deribe, K., Jarlais, D. C., Dessalegn, M., deVeber, G. A., Dharmaratne, S. D., Dherani, M., Diaz-Ortega, J., Diaz-Torne, C., Dicker, D., Ding, E. L., Dokova, K., Dorsey, E. R., Driscoll, T. R., Duan, L., Duber, H. C., Durrani, A. M., Ebel, B. E., Edmond, K. M., Ellenbogen, R. G., Elshrek, Y., Ermakov, S. P., Erskine, H. E., Eshrati, B., Esteghamati, A., Estep, K., Fuerst, T., Fahimi, S., Fahrion, A. S., Faraon, E. J., Farzadfar, F., Fay, D. F., Feigl, A. B., Feigin, V. L., Felicio, M. M., Fereshtehnejad, S., Fernandes, J. G., Ferrari, A. J., Fleming, T. D., Foigt, N., Foreman, K., Forouzanfar, M. H., Fowkes, F. G., Fra Paleo, U., Franklin, R. C., Futran, N. D., Gaffikin, L., Gambashidze, K., Gankpe, F. G., Garcia-Guerra, F. A., Garcia, A. C., Geleijnse, J. M., Gessner, B. D., Gibney, K. B., Gillum, R. F., Gilmour, S., Abdelmageem, I., Ginawi, M., Giroud, M., Glaser, E. L., Goenka, S., Dantes, H. G., Gona, P., Gonzalez-Medina, D., Guinovart, C., Gupta, R., Gupta, R., Gosselin, R. A., Gotay, C. C., Goto, A., Gowda, H. N., Graetz, N., Greenwell, K. F., Gugnani, H. C., Gunnell, D., Gutierrez, R. A., Haagsma, J., Hafezi-Nejad, N., Hagan, H., Hagstromer, M., Halasa, Y. A., Hamadeh, R. R., Hamavid, H., Hammami, M., Hancock, J., Hankey, G. J., Hansen, G. M., Harb, H. L., Harewood, H., Haro, J. M., Havmoeller, R., Hay, R. J., Hay, S. I., Hedayati, M. T., Pi, I. B., Heuton, K. R., Heydarpour, P., Higashi, H., Hijar, M., Hoek, H. W., Hoffman, H. J., Hornberger, J. C., Hosgood, H. D., Hossain, M., Hotez, P. J., Hoy, D. G., Hsairi, M., Hu, G., Huang, J. J., Huffman, M. D., Hughes, A. J., Husseini, A., Huynh, C., Iannarone, M., Iburg, K. M., Idrisov, B. T., Ikeda, N., Innos, K., Inoue, M., Islami, F., Ismayilova, S., Jacobsen, K. H., Jassal, S., Jayaraman, S. P., Jensen, P. N., Jha, V., Jiang, G., Jiang, Y., Jonas, J. B., Joseph, J., Juel, K., Kabagambe, E. K., Kan, H., Karch, A., Karimkhani, C., Karthikeyan, G., Kassebaum, N., Kaul, A., Kawakami, N., Kazanjan, K., Kazi, D. S., Kemp, A. H., Kengne, A. P., Keren, A., Kereselidze, M., Khader, Y. S., Khalifa, S. E., Khan, E. A., Khan, G., Khang, Y., Kieling, C., Kinfu, Y., Kinge, J. M., Kim, D., Kim, S., Kivipelto, M., Knibbs, L., Knudsen, A. K., Kokubo, Y., Kosen, S., Kotagal, M., Kravchenko, M. A., Krishnaswami, S., Krueger, H., Defo, B. K., Kuipers, E. J., Bicer, B. K., Kulkarni, C., Kulkarni, V. S., Kumar, K., Kumar, R. B., Kwan, G. F., Kyu, H., Lai, T., Balaji, A. L., Lalloo, R., Lallukka, T., Lam, H., Lan, Q., Lansingh, V. C., Larson, H. J., Larsson, A., Lavados, P. M., Lawrynowicz, A. E., Leasher, J. L., Lee, J., Leigh, J., Leinsalu, M., Leung, R., Levitz, C., Li, B., Li, Y., Li, Y., Liddell, C., Lim, S. S., de Lima, G. M., Lind, M. L., Lipshultz, S. E., Liu, S., Liu, Y., Lloyd, B. K., Lofgren, K. T., Logroscino, G., London, S. J., Lortet-Tieulent, J., Lotufo, P. A., Lucas, R. M., Lunevicius, R., Lyons, R. A., Ma, S., Machado, V. M., MacIntyre, M. F., Mackay, M. T., Maclachlan, J. H., Magis-Rodriguez, C., Mahdi, A. A., Majdan, M., Malekzadeh, R., Mangalam, S., Mapoma, C. C., Marape, M., Marcenes, W., Margono, C., Marks, G. B., Marzan, M. B., Masci, J. R., Mashal, M. T., Masiye, F., Mason-Jones, A. J., Matzopolous, R., Mayosi, B. M., Mazorodze, T. T., McGrath, J. J., Mckay, A. C., McKee, M., McLain, A., Meaney, P. A., Mehndiratta, M. M., Mejia-Rodriguez, F., Melaku, Y. A., Meltzer, M., Memish, Z. A., Mendoza, W., Mensah, G. A., Meretoja, A., Mhimbira, F. A., Miller, T. R., Mills, E. J., Misganaw, A., Mishra, S. K., Mock, C. N., Moffitt, T. E., Ibrahim, N. M., Mohammad, K. A., Mokdad, A. H., Mola, G. L., Monasta, L., Monis, J. d., Hernandez, J. C., Montico, M., Montine, T. J., Mooney, M. D., Moore, A. R., Moradi-Lakeh, M., Moran, A. E., Mori, R., Moschandreas, J., Moturi, W. N., Moyer, M. L., Mozaffarian, D., Mueller, U. O., Mukaigawara, M., Mullany, E. C., Murray, J., Mustapha, A., Naghavi, P., Naheed, A., Naidoo, K. S., Naldi, L., Nand, D., Nangia, V., Narayan, K. M., Nash, D., Nasher, J., Nejjari, C., Nelson, R. G., Neuhouser, M., Neupane, S. P., Newcomb, P. A., Newman, L., Newton, C. R., Ng, M., Ngalesoni, F. N., Nguyen, G., Nhung Thi Trang Nguyen, N. T., Nisar, M. I., Nolte, S., Norheim, O. F., Norman, R. E., Norrving, B., Nyakarahuka, L., Odell, S., O'Donnell, M., Ohkubo, T., Ohno, S. L., Olusanya, B. O., Omer, S. B., Opio, J. N., Orisakwe, O. E., Ortblad, K. F., Ortiz, A., Otayza, M. L., Pain, A. W., Pandian, J. D., Panelo, C. I., Panniyammakal, J., Papachristou, C., Paternina Caicedo, A. J., Patten, S. B., Patton, G. C., Paul, V. K., Pavlin, B., Pearce, N., Pellegrini, C. A., Pereira, D. M., Peresson, S. C., Perez-Padilla, R., Perez-Ruiz, F. P., Perico, N., Pervaiz, A., Pesudovs, K., Peterson, C. B., Petzold, M., Phillips, B. K., Phillips, D. E., Phillips, M. R., Plass, D., Piel, F. B., Poenaru, D., Polinder, S., Popova, S., Poulton, R. G., Pourmalek, F., Prabhakaran, D., Qato, D., Quezada, A. D., Quistberg, D. A., Rabito, F., Rafay, A., Rahimi, K., Rahimi-Movaghar, V., Rahman, S. u., Raju, M., Rakovac, I., Rana, S. M., Refaat, A., Remuzzi, G., Ribeiro, A. L., Ricci, S., Riccio, P. M., Richardson, L., Richardus, J. H., Roberts, B., Roberts, D. A., Robinson, M., Roca, A., Rodriguez, A., Rojas-Rueda, D., Ronfani, L., Room, R., Roth, G. A., Rothenbacher, D., Rothstein, D. H., Rowley, J. T., Roy, N., Ruhago, G. M., Rushton, L., Sambandam, S., Soreide, K., Saeedi, M. Y., Saha, S., Sahathevan, R., Sahraian, M. A., Sahle, B. W., Salomon, J. A., Salvo, D., Samonte, G. M., Sampson, U., Sanabria, J. R., Sandar, L., Santos, I. S., Satpathy, M., Sawhney, M., Saylan, M., Scarborough, P., Schoettker, B., Schmidt, J. C., Schneider, I. J., Schumacher, A. E., Schwebel, D. C., Scott, J. G., Sepanlou, S. G., Servan-Mori, E. E., Shackelford, K., Shaheen, A., Shahraz, S., Shakh-Nazarova, M., Shangguan, S., She, J., Sheikhbahaei, S., Shepard, D. S., Shibuya, K., Shinohara, Y., Shishani, K., Shiue, I., Shivakoti, R., Shrime, M. G., Sigfusdottir, I. D., Silberberg, D. H., Silva, A. P., Simard, E. P., Sindi, S., Singh, J. A., Singh, L., Sioson, E., Skirbekk, V., Sliwa, K., So, S., Soljak, M., Soneji, S., Soshnikov, S. S., Sposato, L. A., Sreeramareddy, C. T., Stanaway, J. R., Stathopoulou, V. K., Steenland, K., Stein, C., Steiner, C., Stevens, A., Stoeckl, H., Straif, K., Stroumpoulis, K., Sturua, L., Sunguya, B. F., Swaminathan, S., Swaroop, M., Sykes, B. L., Tabb, K. M., Takahashi, K., Talongwa, R. T., Tan, F., Tanne, D., Tanner, M., Tavakkoli, M., Ao, B. T., Teixeira, C. M., Templin, T., Tenkorang, E. Y., Terkawi, A. S., Thomas, B. A., Thorne-Lyman, A. L., Thrift, A. G., Thurston, G. D., Tillmann, T., Tirschwell, D. L., Tleyjeh, I. M., Tonelli, M., Topouzis, F., Towbin, J. A., Toyoshima, H., Traebert, J., Tran, B. X., Truelsen, T., Trujillo, U., Trillini, M., Dimbuene, Z. T., Tsilimbaris, M., Tuzcu, E. M., Ubeda, C., Uchendu, U. S., Ukwaja, K. N., Undurraga, E. A., Vallely, A. J., van de Vijver, S., van Gool, C. H., Varakin, Y. Y., Vasankari, T. J., Vasconcelos, A. M., Vavilala, M. S., Venketasubramanian, N., Vijayakumar, L., Villalpando, S., Violante, F. S., Vlassov, V. V., Wagner, G. R., Waller, S. G., Wang, J., Wang, L., Wang, X., Wang, Y., Warouw, T. S., Weichenthal, S., Weiderpass, E., Weintraub, R. G., Wenzhi, W., Werdecker, A., Wessells, K. R., Westerman, R., Whiteford, H. A., Wilkinson, J. D., Williams, T. N., Woldeyohannes, S. M., Wolfe, C. D., Wolock, T. M., Woolf, A. D., Wong, J. Q., Wright, J. L., Wulf, S., Wurtz, B., Xu, G., Yang, Y. C., Yano, Y., Yatsuya, H., Yip, P., Yonemoto, N., Yoon, S., Younis, M., Yu, C., Jin, K. Y., Zaki, M. E., Zamakhshary, M. F., Zeeb, H., Zhang, Y., Zhao, Y., Zheng, Y., Zhu, J., Zhu, S., Zonies, D., Zou, X. N., Zunt, J. R., Vos, T., Lopez, A. D., Murray, C. J. 2015; 385 (9963): 117-171


    Up-to-date evidence on levels and trends for age-sex-specific all-cause and cause-specific mortality is essential for the formation of global, regional, and national health policies. In the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 (GBD 2013) we estimated yearly deaths for 188 countries between 1990, and 2013. We used the results to assess whether there is epidemiological convergence across countries.We estimated age-sex-specific all-cause mortality using the GBD 2010 methods with some refinements to improve accuracy applied to an updated database of vital registration, survey, and census data. We generally estimated cause of death as in the GBD 2010. Key improvements included the addition of more recent vital registration data for 72 countries, an updated verbal autopsy literature review, two new and detailed data systems for China, and more detail for Mexico, UK, Turkey, and Russia. We improved statistical models for garbage code redistribution. We used six different modelling strategies across the 240 causes; cause of death ensemble modelling (CODEm) was the dominant strategy for causes with sufficient information. Trends for Alzheimer's disease and other dementias were informed by meta-regression of prevalence studies. For pathogen-specific causes of diarrhoea and lower respiratory infections we used a counterfactual approach. We computed two measures of convergence (inequality) across countries: the average relative difference across all pairs of countries (Gini coefficient) and the average absolute difference across countries. To summarise broad findings, we used multiple decrement life-tables to decompose probabilities of death from birth to exact age 15 years, from exact age 15 years to exact age 50 years, and from exact age 50 years to exact age 75 years, and life expectancy at birth into major causes. For all quantities reported, we computed 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs). We constrained cause-specific fractions within each age-sex-country-year group to sum to all-cause mortality based on draws from the uncertainty distributions.Global life expectancy for both sexes increased from 65.3 years (UI 65.0-65.6) in 1990, to 71.5 years (UI 71.0-71.9) in 2013, while the number of deaths increased from 47.5 million (UI 46.8-48.2) to 54.9 million (UI 53.6-56.3) over the same interval. Global progress masked variation by age and sex: for children, average absolute differences between countries decreased but relative differences increased. For women aged 25-39 years and older than 75 years and for men aged 20-49 years and 65 years and older, both absolute and relative differences increased. Decomposition of global and regional life expectancy showed the prominent role of reductions in age-standardised death rates for cardiovascular diseases and cancers in high-income regions, and reductions in child deaths from diarrhoea, lower respiratory infections, and neonatal causes in low-income regions. HIV/AIDS reduced life expectancy in southern sub-Saharan Africa. For most communicable causes of death both numbers of deaths and age-standardised death rates fell whereas for most non-communicable causes, demographic shifts have increased numbers of deaths but decreased age-standardised death rates. Global deaths from injury increased by 10.7%, from 4.3 million deaths in 1990 to 4.8 million in 2013; but age-standardised rates declined over the same period by 21%. For some causes of more than 100,000 deaths per year in 2013, age-standardised death rates increased between 1990 and 2013, including HIV/AIDS, pancreatic cancer, atrial fibrillation and flutter, drug use disorders, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and sickle-cell anaemias. Diarrhoeal diseases, lower respiratory infections, neonatal causes, and malaria are still in the top five causes of death in children younger than 5 years. The most important pathogens are rotavirus for diarrhoea and pneumococcus for lower respiratory infections. Country-specific probabilities of death over three phases of life were substantially varied between and within regions.For most countries, the general pattern of reductions in age-sex specific mortality has been associated with a progressive shift towards a larger share of the remaining deaths caused by non-communicable disease and injuries. Assessing epidemiological convergence across countries depends on whether an absolute or relative measure of inequality is used. Nevertheless, age-standardised death rates for seven substantial causes are increasing, suggesting the potential for reversals in some countries. Important gaps exist in the empirical data for cause of death estimates for some countries; for example, no national data for India are available for the past decade.Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61682-2

    View details for Web of Science ID 000347715900024

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4340604

  • Cost-Effectiveness and Cost Thresholds of Generic and Brand Drugs in a National Chronic Hepatitis B Treatment Program in China. PloS one Toy, M., Hutton, D. W., So, S. K. 2015; 10 (11)


    Chronic liver disease and liver cancer associated with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) are leading causes of death among adults in China. Although newborn hepatitis B immunization has successfully reduced the prevalence of CHB in children, about 100 million Chinese adults remain chronically infected. If left unmanaged, 15-25% will die from liver cancer or liver cirrhosis. Antiviral treatment is not necessary for all patients with CHB, but when it is indicated, good response to treatment would prevent disease progression and reduce disease mortality and morbidity, and costly complications. The aim of this study is to analyze the cost-effectiveness of generic and brand antiviral drugs for CHB treatment in China, and assessing various thresholds at which a highly potent, low resistance antiviral drug would be cost-saving and/or cost-effective to introduce in a national treatment program. We developed a Markov simulation model of disease progression using effectiveness and cost data from the medical literature. We measured life-time costs, quality adjusted life years (QALYs), incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs), and clinical outcomes. The no treatment strategy incurred the highest health care costs ($12,932-$25,293) per patient, and the worst health outcomes, compared to the antiviral treatment strategies. Monotherapy with either entecavir or tenofovir yielded the most QALYs (14.10-19.02) for both HBeAg-positive and negative patients, with or without cirrhosis. Threshold analysis showed entercavir or tenofovir treatment would be cost saving if the drug price is $32-75 (195-460 RMB) per month, highly cost-effective at $62-110 (379-670 RMB) per month and cost-effective at $63-120 (384-734 RMB) per month. This study can support policy decisions regarding the implementation of a national health program for chronic hepatitis B treatment in China at the population level.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0139876

    View details for PubMedID 26536626

  • Imaging of hepatocellular carcinoma patient-derived xenografts using Zr-89-labeled anti-glypican-3 monoclonal antibody BIOMATERIALS Yang, X., Liu, H., Sun, C. K., Natarajan, A., Hu, X., Wang, X., Allegretta, M., Guttmann, R. D., Gambhir, S. S., Chua, M., Cheng, Z., So, S. K. 2014; 35 (25): 6964-6971


    Imaging probes for early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are highly desired to overcome current diagnostic limitations which lead to poor prognosis. The membrane protein glypican-3 (GPC3) is a potential molecular target for early HCC detection as it is over-expressed in >50% of HCCs, and is associated with early hepatocarcinogenesis. We synthesized the positron emission tomography (PET) probe (89)Zr-DFO-1G12 by bioconjugating and radiolabeling the anti-GPC3 monoclonal antibody (clone 1G12) with (89)Zr, and evaluated its tumor-targeting capacity. In vitro, (89)Zr-DFO-1G12 was specifically taken up into GPC3-positive HCC cells only, but not in the GPC3-negative prostate cancer cell line (PC3). In vivo, (89)Zr-DFO-1G12 specifically accumulated in subcutaneous GPC3-positive HCC xenografts only, but not in PC3 xenografts. Importantly, (89)Zr-DFO-1G12 delineated orthotopic HCC xenografts from surrounding normal liver, with tumor/liver (T/L) ratios of 6.65 ± 1.33 for HepG2, and 4.29 ± 0.52 for Hep3B xenografts. It also delineated orthotopic xenografts derived from three GPC3-positive HCC patient specimens, with T/L ratios of 4.21 ± 0.64, 2.78 ± 0.26, and 2.31 ± 0.38 at 168 h p.i. Thus, (89)Zr-DFO-1G12 is a highly translatable probe for the specific and high contrast imaging of GPC3-positive HCCs, which may aid early detection of HCC to allow timely intervention.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2014.04.089

    View details for Web of Science ID 000338386800028

  • Novel celastrol derivatives inhibit the growth of hepatocellular carcinoma patient-derived xenografts. Oncotarget Wei, W., Wu, S., Wang, X., Sun, C. K., Yang, X., Yan, X., Chua, M., So, S. 2014; 5 (14): 5819-5831


    The molecular co-chaperone CDC37 is over-expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells, where it functions with HSP90 to regulate the activity of protein kinases in multiple oncogenic signaling pathways that contribute towards hepatocarcinogenesis. Disruption of these signaling pathways via inhibition of HSP90/CDC37 interaction is therefore a rational therapeutic approach. We evaluated the anti-tumor effects of celastrol, pristimerin, and two novel derivatives (cel-D2, and cel-D7) on HCC cell lines in vitro and on orthotopic HCC patient-derived xenografts in vivo. All four compounds preferentially inhibited viability of HCC cells in vitro,and significantly inhibited the growth of three orthotopic HCC patient-derived xenografts in vivo; with the novel derivatives cel-D2 and cel-D7 exhibiting lower toxicity. All four compounds also induced cell apoptosis; and promoted degradation and inhibited phosphorylation of protein kinases in the Raf/MEK/ERK and PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathways. We demonstrated that HSP90/CDC37 antagonists are potentially broad spectrum agents that might be beneficial for treating the heterogeneous subtypes of HCC, either as monotherapy, or in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents.

    View details for PubMedID 25051375

  • Suppressing N-Myc downstream regulated gene 1 reactivates senescence signaling and inhibits tumor growth in hepatocellular carcinoma. Carcinogenesis Lu, W., Chua, M., So, S. K. 2014; 35 (4): 915-922


    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most lethal malignancy worldwide with no curative therapies. To discover potentially novel therapeutic targets for HCC, we previously studied the gene expression profiles of HCC patients and identified that significant upregulation of N-Myc downstream regulated gene 1 (NDRG1) is associated with more aggressive phenotypes and poorer overall survival of HCC patients. In this study, we further used a loss-of-function approach (RNA interference) to understand the role of NDRG1 in hepatocarcinogenesis. We found that suppression of NDRG1 significantly impaired HCC cell growth through inducing extensive cellular senescence of HCC cells both in vitro and in vivo, accompanied by cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase. The observed antitumor effects of NDRG1 suppression were correlated with activation of major senescence-associated signaling pathways, such as upregulation of tumor suppressors p53, p21 and p16, and decreased phosphorylated Rb. To obtain further insights into the clinical significance of NDRG1-modulated senescence in HCC patients, immunohistochemistry staining of 92 cases of HCC patients was done. We found that high NDRG1 expression (n = 66) is associated with low p21 (n = 82; P < 0.001) and low p16 (n = 86; P < 0.001) levels. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that NDRG1 is a potential therapeutic target for HCC because its suppression triggers senescence of HCC cells through activating glycogen synthase kinase-3β-p53 pathway, thereby inhibiting tumor progression.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/carcin/bgt401

    View details for PubMedID 24302615

  • Epigenetics in hepatocellular carcinoma: An update and future therapy perspectives WORLD JOURNAL OF GASTROENTEROLOGY Ma, L., Chua, M., Andrisani, O., So, S. 2014; 20 (2): 333-345
  • Wnt pathway activation in hepatocellular carcinoma: A clinical perspective. Gastrointestinal Cancer: Targets and Therapy Ma, L., Wei, W., Chua, M., So, S. 2014; 4: 49–63

    View details for DOI 10.2147/GICTT.S44256

  • Glypican-3-Mediates Autophagy and Promotes Self-Renewal and Tumor Initiation of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy SUN, C., CHUA, M., WEI, W., SO, S. 2014; 4 (9): 1-11
  • Preventing hepatocellular carcinoma: the crucial role of chronic hepatitis B monitoring and antiviral treatment Hepatic Oncology Toy, M., Demirci, U., So, S. 2014; 1 (3): 255-257

    View details for DOI 10.2217/hep.14.10

  • Molecular imaging of hepatocellular carcinoma xenografts with epidermal growth factor receptor targeted affibody probes. BioMed research international Zhao, P., Yang, X., Qi, S., Liu, H., Jiang, H., Hoppmann, S., Cao, Q., Chua, M., So, S. K., Cheng, Z. 2013; 2013: 759057-?


    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a highly aggressive and lethal cancer. It is typically asymptomatic at the early stage, with only 10%-20% of HCC patients being diagnosed early enough for appropriate surgical treatment. The delayed diagnosis of HCC is associated with limited treatment options and much lower survival rates. Therefore, the early and accurate detection of HCC is crucial to improve its currently dismal prognosis. The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been reported to be involved in HCC tumorigenesis and to represent an attractive target for HCC imaging and therapy. In this study, an affibody molecule, Ac-Cys-ZEGFR:1907, targeting the extracellular domain of EGFR, was used for the first time to assess its potential to detect HCC xenografts. By evaluating radio- or fluorescent-labeled Ac-Cys-ZEGFR:1907 as a probe for positron emission tomography (PET) or optical imaging of HCC, subcutaneous EGFR-positive HCC xenografts were found to be successfully imaged by the PET probe. Thus, affibody-based PET imaging of EGFR provides a promising approach for detecting HCC in vivo.

    View details for DOI 10.1155/2013/759057

    View details for PubMedID 23710458

  • Education and counseling of pregnant patients with chronic hepatitis B: perspectives from obstetricians and perinatal nurses in santa clara county, california. Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention Yang, E. J., Cheung, C. M., So, S. K., Chang, E. T., Chao, S. D. 2013; 14 (3): 1707-1713


    Background: This study aimed to better understand the barriers to perinatal hepatitis B prevention and to identify the reasons for poor hepatitis B knowledge and delivery of education to hepatitis B surface-antigen- positive pregnant women among healthcare providers in Santa Clara County, California. Materials and Methods: Qualitative interviews were conducted with 16 obstetricians and 17 perinatal nurses in Santa Clara County, California, which has one of the largest populations in the United States at high risk for perinatal hepatitis B transmission. Results: Most providers displayed a lack of self-efficacy attributed to insufficient hepatitis B training and education. They felt discouraged from counseling and educating their patients because of a lack of resources and discouraging patient attitudes such as stigma and apathy. Providers called for institutional changes from the government, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations to improve care for patients with chronic hepatitis B. Conclusions: Early and continuing provider training, increased public awareness, and development of comprehensive resources and new programs may contribute to reducing the barriers for health care professionals to provide counseling and education to pregnant patients with chronic hepatitis B infection.

    View details for PubMedID 23679261

  • Assessment and comparison of magnetic nanoparticles as MRI contrast agents in a rodent model of human hepatocellular carcinoma CONTRAST MEDIA & MOLECULAR IMAGING Bu, L., Xie, J., Chen, K., Huang, J., Aguilar, Z. P., Wang, A., Sun, K. W., Chua, M., So, S., Cheng, Z., Eden, H. S., Shen, B., Chen, X. 2012; 7 (4): 363-372


    The purpose of this study was to synthesize, characterize and tailor the surface properties of magnetic nanoparticles with biocompatible copolymer coatings and to evaluate the efficiency of the resulting nanoconjugates as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents for liver imaging. Magnetic nanoparticles with core diameters of 10 and 30 nm were synthesized by pyrolysis and were subsequently coated with a copolymer containing either carboxyl (SHP) or methoxy groups as termini. All four formulas, and ferumoxides (Feridex I.V.(®)), were individually injected intravenously into separate, normal Balb/C mice (at 2.5, 1.0 and 0.56 mg Fe kg(-1)), and the animals underwent T(2)-weighted MRI at multiple time points post injection (p.i.) to evaluate the hepatic uptake and clearance. Furthermore, we compared the abilities of the new formulas and Feridex to detect tumors in an orthotropic Huh7 tumor model. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed a narrow size distribution of both the 10 and 30 nm nanoparticles, in contrast to a wide size distribution of Feridex. MTT, apoptosis and cyclin/DNA flow cytometry assays showed that the polymer coated nanoparticles had no adverse effect on cell growth. Among all the tested formulas, including Feridex, SHP-30 showed the highest macrophage uptake at the in vitro level. In vivo MRI studies on normal mice confirmed the superiority of SHP-30 in inducing hypointensities in the liver tissue, especially at clinical dose (0.56 mg Fe kg(-1)) and 3 T field. SHP-30 showed better contrast-to-noise ratio than Feridex on the orthotropic Huh7 tumor model. SHP-30 was found to be an efficient contrast agent for liver MR imaging. The success of this study suggests that, by improving the synthetic approach and by tuning the surface properties of IONPs, one can arrive at better formulas than Feridex for clinical practice.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/cmmi.494

    View details for Web of Science ID 000304665100002

    View details for PubMedID 22649042

  • Low Levels of Knowledge and Preventive Practices Regarding Vertical Hepatitis B Transmission among Perinatal Nurses JOGNN-JOURNAL OF OBSTETRIC GYNECOLOGIC AND NEONATAL NURSING Chao, S. D., Cheung, C. M., Yang, E. J., So, S. K., Chang, E. T. 2012; 41 (4): 494-505


    To evaluate current levels of hepatitis-B-related knowledge and clinical practice among perinatal nurses.Cross-sectional study.Santa Clara County, California, home to one of the largest U.S. populations at risk of perinatal hepatitis B transmission.Perinatal nurses (N = 518) from eight birthing hospitals.In 2008-2010, nurses completed a baseline survey evaluating existing hepatitis-B-related knowledge and preventive clinical practices, participated in an educational seminar, received instructional materials about hepatitis B, and completed a follow-up knowledge survey.Eighty percent of perinatal nurses had provided health care to a pregnant woman with chronic hepatitis B, but only 51% routinely provided patients with educational information about hepatitis B. While 75% routinely informed patients about effective methods to prevent mother-to-child transmission, only a small minority (17-34%) educated infected women about standard recommendations for protecting themselves and household members. One fourth or fewer nurses correctly answered most questions about hepatitis B prevalence, risks, and symptoms. After the educational seminar, knowledge increased statistically significantly.Existing knowledge about hepatitis B is limited, and nationally recommended preventive clinical practices are commonly overlooked by perinatal nurses. This lack of knowledge and preventive care represents a noteworthy gap and an opportunity for targeted training and education to improve perinatal hepatitis B prevention and medical management of infected mothers.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2012.01379.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000306476300006

    View details for PubMedID 22697047

  • A model program for hepatitis B vaccination and education of schoolchildren in rural China INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH Chen, J. J., Chang, E. T., Chen, Y., Bailey, M. B., So, S. K. 2012; 57 (3): 581-588


    Incomplete hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine coverage and poor HBV-related knowledge in China leave millions of children unprotected from this life-threatening infection. To address these gaps, a pilot program for HBV education and vaccination was launched in rural China.In 2006, public and private organizations in the US and China collaborated to provide HBV education and vaccination to 55,000 school-age children in the remote, highly HBV-endemic area of Qinghai Province. The impact of the educational program on HBV-related knowledge was evaluated among more than 2,800 elementary school students.Between September 2006 and March 2007, the three-shot hepatitis B vaccine series was administered to 54,680 students, with a completion rate of 99.4%. From low pre-existing knowledge levels, classroom educational sessions statistically significantly increased knowledge about HBV risks, symptoms, transmission, and prevention.This program offers an effective and sustainable model for HBV catch-up vaccination and education that can be replicated throughout China, as well as in other underserved HBV-endemic regions, as a strategy to reduce chronic HBV infection, liver failure, and liver cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00038-011-0289-x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000304446100015

    View details for PubMedID 21845405

  • Identification of a 14-gene signature that predicts survival in colorectal cancer with liver metastasis 48th Annual Meeting of the American-Society-of-Clinical-Oncology (ASCO) Chung, J. L., Pollack, J., Chua, M., So, S., Lin, C., Lin, A. Y. AMER SOC CLINICAL ONCOLOGY. 2012
  • The CD47-signal regulatory protein alpha (SIRPa) interaction is a therapeutic target for human solid tumors PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Willingham, S. B., Volkmer, J., Gentles, A. J., Sahoo, D., Dalerba, P., Mitra, S. S., Wang, J., Contreras-Trujillo, H., Martin, R., Cohen, J. D., Lovelace, P., Scheeren, F. A., Chao, M. P., Weiskopf, K., Tang, C., Volkmer, A. K., Naik, T. J., Storm, T. A., Mosley, A. R., Edris, B., Schmid, S. M., Sun, C. K., Chua, M., Murillo, O., Rajendran, P., Cha, A. C., Chin, R. K., Kim, D., Adorno, M., Raveh, T., Tseng, D., Jaiswal, S., Enger, P. O., Steinberg, G. K., Li, G., So, S. K., Majeti, R., Harsh, G. R., van de Rijn, M., Teng, N. N., Sunwoo, J. B., Alizadeh, A. A., Clarke, M. F., Weissman, I. L. 2012; 109 (17): 6662-6667


    CD47, a "don't eat me" signal for phagocytic cells, is expressed on the surface of all human solid tumor cells. Analysis of patient tumor and matched adjacent normal (nontumor) tissue revealed that CD47 is overexpressed on cancer cells. CD47 mRNA expression levels correlated with a decreased probability of survival for multiple types of cancer. CD47 is a ligand for SIRPα, a protein expressed on macrophages and dendritic cells. In vitro, blockade of CD47 signaling using targeted monoclonal antibodies enabled macrophage phagocytosis of tumor cells that were otherwise protected. Administration of anti-CD47 antibodies inhibited tumor growth in orthotopic immunodeficient mouse xenotransplantation models established with patient tumor cells and increased the survival of the mice over time. Anti-CD47 antibody therapy initiated on larger tumors inhibited tumor growth and prevented or treated metastasis, but initiation of the therapy on smaller tumors was potentially curative. The safety and efficacy of targeting CD47 was further tested and validated in immune competent hosts using an orthotopic mouse breast cancer model. These results suggest all human solid tumor cells require CD47 expression to suppress phagocytic innate immune surveillance and elimination. These data, taken together with similar findings with other human neoplasms, show that CD47 is a commonly expressed molecule on all cancers, its function to block phagocytosis is known, and blockade of its function leads to tumor cell phagocytosis and elimination. CD47 is therefore a validated target for cancer therapies.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1121623109

    View details for Web of Science ID 000303249100065

    View details for PubMedID 22451913

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3340046

  • OPTICAL IMAGING OF LIVER CARCINOMA XENOGRAFTS USING EPIDERMAL GROWTH FACTOR RECEPTOR TARGETED FLUORESCENTLY LABELED AFFIBODY 62nd Annual Meeting of the American-Association-for-the-Study-of-Liver-Diseases (AASLD) Zhao, P., Yang, X., Qi, S., Cao, Q., Chua, M., Wang, J., So, S., Cheng, Z. WILEY-BLACKWELL. 2011: 894A–894A
  • Suppression of Glypican 3 Inhibits Growth of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells through Up-Regulation of TGF-beta 2 NEOPLASIA Sun, C. K., Chua, M., He, J., So, S. K. 2011; 13 (8): 735-U111


    Glypican 3 (GPC3) is a valuable diagnostic marker and a potential therapeutic target in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). To evaluate the efficacy of targeting GPC3 at the translational level, we used RNA interference to examine the biologic and molecular effects of GPC3 suppression in HCC cells in vitro and in vivo. Transfection of Huh7 and HepG2 cells with GPC3-specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) inhibited cell proliferation (P < .001) together with cell cycle arrest at the G(1) phase, down-regulation of antiapoptotic protein (Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, and Mcl-1), and replicative senescence. Gene expression analysis revealed that GPC3 suppression significantly correlated with transforming growth factor beta receptor (TGFBR) pathway (P = 4.57e-5) and upregulated TGF-β2 at both RNA and protein levels. The effects of GPC3 suppression by siRNA can be recapitulated by addition of human recombinant TGF-β2 to HCC cells in culture, suggesting the possible involvement of TGF-β2 in growth inhibition of HCC cells. Cotransfection of siRNA-GPC3 with siRNA-TGF-β2 partially attenuated the effects of GPC3 suppression on cell proliferation, cell cycle progression, apoptosis, and replicative senescence, confirming the involvement of TGF-β2 in siRNA-GPC3-mediated growth suppression. In vivo, GPC3 suppression significantly inhibited the growth of orthotopic xenografts of Huh7 and HepG2 cells (P < .05), accompanied by increased TGF-β2 expression, reduced cell proliferation (observed by proliferating cell nuclear antigen staining), and enhanced apoptosis (by TUNEL staining). In conclusion, molecular targeting of GPC3 at the translational level offers an effective option for the clinical management of GPC3-positive HCC patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1593/neo.11664

    View details for Web of Science ID 000295942500008

    View details for PubMedID 21847365

  • San Francisco Hep B Free: A Grassroots Community Coalition to Prevent Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer JOURNAL OF COMMUNITY HEALTH Bailey, M. B., Shiau, R., Zola, J., Fernyak, S. E., Fang, T., So, S. K., Chang, E. T. 2011; 36 (4): 538-551


    Chronic hepatitis B is the leading cause of liver cancer and the largest health disparity between Asian/Pacific Islanders (APIs) and the general US population. The Hep B Free model was launched to eliminate hepatitis B infection by increasing hepatitis B awareness, testing, vaccination, and treatment among APIs by building a broad, community-wide coalition. The San Francisco Hep B Free campaign is a diverse public/private collaboration unifying the API community, health care system, policy makers, businesses, and the general public in San Francisco, California. Mass-media and grassroots messaging raised citywide awareness of hepatitis B and promoted use of the existing health care system for hepatitis B screening and follow-up. Coalition partners reported semi-annually on activities, resources utilized, and system changes instituted. From 2007 to 2009, over 150 organizations contributed approximately $1,000,000 in resources to the San Francisco Hep B Free campaign. 40 educational events reached 1,100 healthcare providers, and 50% of primary care physicians pledged to screen APIs routinely for hepatitis B. Community events and fairs reached over 200,000 members of the general public. Of 3,315 API clients tested at stand-alone screening sites created by the campaign, 6.5% were found to be chronically infected and referred to follow-up care. A grassroots coalition that develops strong partnerships with diverse organizations can use existing resources to successfully increase public and healthcare provider awareness about hepatitis B among APIs, promote routine hepatitis B testing and vaccination as part of standard primary care, and ensure access to treatment for chronically infected individuals.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10900-010-9339-1

    View details for Web of Science ID 000292513300006

    View details for PubMedID 21125320

  • In vivo MRSI of hyperpolarized [1-C-13]pyruvate metabolism in rat hepatocellular carcinoma NMR IN BIOMEDICINE Darpolor, M. M., Yen, Y., Chua, M., Xing, L., Clarke-Katzenberg, R. H., Shi, W., Mayer, D., Josan, S., Hurd, R. E., Pfefferbaum, A., Senadheera, L., So, S., Hofmann, L. V., Glazer, G. M., Spielman, D. M. 2011; 24 (5): 506-513


    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the primary form of human adult liver malignancy, is a highly aggressive tumor with average survival rates that are currently less than 1 year following diagnosis. Most patients with HCC are diagnosed at an advanced stage, and no efficient marker exists for the prediction of prognosis and/or response(s) to therapy. We have reported previously a high level of [1-(13)C]alanine in an orthotopic HCC using single-voxel hyperpolarized [1-(13)C]pyruvate MRS. In the present study, we implemented a three-dimensional MRSI sequence to investigate this potential hallmark of cellular metabolism in rat livers bearing HCC (n = 7 buffalo rats). In addition, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to determine the mRNA levels of lactate dehydrogenase A, nicotinamide adenine (phosphate) dinucleotide dehydrogenase quinone 1 and alanine transaminase. The enzyme levels were significantly higher in tumor than in normal liver tissues within each rat, and were associated with the in vivo MRSI signal of [1-(13)C]alanine and [1-(13)C]lactate after a bolus intravenous injection of [1-(13)C]pyruvate. Histopathological analysis of these tumors confirmed the successful growth of HCC as a nodule in buffalo rat livers, revealing malignancy and hypervascular architecture. More importantly, the results demonstrated that the metabolic fate of [1-(13)C]pyruvate conversion to [1-(13)C]alanine significantly superseded that of [1-(13)C]pyruvate conversion to [1-(13)C]lactate, potentially serving as a marker of HCC tumors.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/nbm.1616

    View details for Web of Science ID 000291597200009

    View details for PubMedID 21674652

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3073155

  • Doing Good with Good OR: Supporting Cost-Effective Hepatitis B Interventions INTERFACES Hutton, D. W., Brandeau, M. L., So, S. K. 2011; 41 (3): 289-300


    In an era of limited healthcare budgets, mathematical models can be useful tools to identify cost-effective programs and to support policymakers in informed decision making. This paper reports results of our work carried out over several years with the Asian Liver Center at Stanford University, a nonprofit outreach and advocacy organization that is an international leader in the fight against hepatitis B and liver cancer. Hepatitis B is a vaccine-preventable viral disease that, if untreated, can lead to death from cirrhosis and liver cancer. Infection with hepatitis B is a major public health problem, particularly in Asian populations. We used new combinations of decision analysis and Markov models to analyze the cost-effectiveness of several interventions to combat hepatitis B in the United States and China. The results of our OR-based analyses have helped change United States public health policy on hepatitis B screening for millions of people and have helped encourage policymakers in China to enact legislation to provide free catch-up vaccination for hundreds of millions of children. These policies are an important step in eliminating health disparities, reducing discrimination, and ensuring that millions of people who need it can now receive hepatitis B vaccination or lifesaving treatment.

    View details for DOI 10.1287/inte.1100.0511

    View details for Web of Science ID 000292246700007

  • Comparative Profiling of Primary Colorectal Carcinomas and Liver Metastases Identifies LEF1 as a Prognostic Biomarker PLOS ONE Lin, A. Y., Chua, M., Choi, Y., Yeh, W., Kim, Y. H., Azzi, R., Adams, G. A., Sainani, K., van de Rijn, M., So, S. K., Pollack, J. R. 2011; 6 (2)


    We sought to identify genes of clinical significance to predict survival and the risk for colorectal liver metastasis (CLM), the most common site of metastasis from colorectal cancer (CRC).We profiled gene expression in 31 specimens from primary CRC and 32 unmatched specimens of CLM, and performed Significance Analysis of Microarrays (SAM) to identify genes differentially expressed between these two groups. To characterize the clinical relevance of two highly-ranked differentially-expressed genes, we analyzed the expression of secreted phosphoprotein 1 (SPP1 or osteopontin) and lymphoid enhancer factor-1 (LEF1) by immunohistochemistry using a tissue microarray (TMA) representing an independent set of 154 patients with primary CRC.Supervised analysis using SAM identified 963 genes with significantly higher expression in CLM compared to primary CRC, with a false discovery rate of <0.5%. TMA analysis showed SPP1 and LEF1 protein overexpression in 60% and 44% of CRC cases, respectively. Subsequent occurrence of CLM was significantly correlated with the overexpression of LEF1 (chi-square p = 0.042), but not SPP1 (p = 0.14). Kaplan Meier analysis revealed significantly worse survival in patients with overexpression of LEF1 (p<0.01), but not SPP1 (p = 0.11). Both univariate and multivariate analyses identified stage (p<0.0001) and LEF1 overexpression (p<0.05) as important prognostic markers, but not tumor grade or SPP1.Among genes differentially expressed between CLM and primary CRC, we demonstrate overexpression of LEF1 in primary CRC to be a prognostic factor for poor survival and increased risk for liver metastasis.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0016636

    View details for Web of Science ID 000287761700013

    View details for PubMedID 21383983

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3044708

  • Soluble Frizzled-7 receptor inhibits Wnt signaling and sensitizes hepatocellular carcinoma cells towards doxorubicin MOLECULAR CANCER Wei, W., Chua, M., Grepper, S., So, S. K. 2011; 10


    There are limited therapeutic options for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common liver malignancy worldwide. Recent studies have identified the Frizzled-7 receptor (FZD7), important for activation of Wnt-mediated signaling, as a potential therapeutic target for HCC and other cancers.We hypothesized that the extracellular domain of FZD7 (sFZD7) would be a clinically more relevant therapeutic modality than previously studied approaches to target FZD7. We expressed and purified sFZD7 from E. coli, and tested its functional activity to interact with Wnt3, its ability to inhibit Wnt3-mediated signaling, and its potential for combinatorial therapy in HCC.sFZD7 pulled down Wnt3 from Huh7 cells, and decreased β-catenin/Tcf4 transcriptional activity in HCC cells. In vitro, sFZD7 dose-dependently decreased viability of three HCC cell lines (HepG2, Hep40, and Huh7, all with high FZD7 and Wnt3 mRNA), but had little effect on normal hepatocytes from three donors (all with low level FZD7 and Wnt3 mRNA). When combined with doxorubicin, sFZD7 enhanced the growth inhibitory effects of doxorubicin against HCC cells in vitro, and against Huh7 xenografts in vivo. Reduced expressions of c-Myc, cyclin D1, and survivin were observed in vitro and in vivo. Additionally, sFZD7 altered the levels of phosphorylated AKT and ERK1/2 induced by doxorubicin treatment in vitro, suggesting that several critical pathways are involved in the chemosensitizing effect of sFZD7.We propose that sFZD7 is a feasible therapeutic agent with specific activity, which can potentially be combined with other chemotherapeutic agents for the improved management of HCC.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/1476-4598-10-16

    View details for Web of Science ID 000288094200001

    View details for PubMedID 21314951

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3050858

  • The Jade Ribbon Campaign: a systematic, evidence-based public awareness campaign to improve Asian and Pacific Islander health Journal of Communication in Healthcare Chao, S., So, S. 2011; 4 (1): 46-55
  • Disparities in Liver Cancer Incidence by Nativity, Acculturation, and Socioeconomic Status in California Hispanics and Asians CANCER EPIDEMIOLOGY BIOMARKERS & PREVENTION Chang, E. T., Yang, J., Alfaro-Velcamp, T., So, S. K., Glaser, S. L., Gomez, S. L. 2010; 19 (12): 3106-3118


    Asians and Hispanics have the highest incidence rates of liver cancer in the United States, but little is known about how incidence patterns in these largely immigrant populations vary by nativity, acculturation, and socioeconomic status (SES). Such variations can identify high-priority subgroups for prevention and monitoring.Incidence rates and rate ratios (IRR) by nativity among 5,400 Hispanics and 5,809 Asians diagnosed with liver cancer in 1988-2004 were calculated in the California Cancer Registry. Neighborhood ethnic enclave status and SES were classified using 2000 U.S. Census data for cases diagnosed in 1998-2002.Foreign-born Hispanic males had significantly lower liver cancer incidence rates than U.S.-born Hispanic males in 1988-2004 (e.g., IRR = 0.54, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.50-0.59 in 1997-2004), whereas foreign-born Hispanic females had significantly higher rates in 1988-1996 (IRR = 1.42, 95% CI = 1.18-1.71), but not 1997-2004. Foreign-born Asian males and females had up to 5-fold higher rates than the U.S.-born. Among Hispanic females, incidence rates were elevated by 21% in higher-enclave versus lower-enclave neighborhoods, and by 24% in lower- versus higher-SES neighborhoods. Among Asian males, incidence rates were elevated by 23% in higher-enclave neighborhoods and by 21% in lower-SES neighborhoods. In both racial/ethnic populations, males and females in higher-enclave, lower-SES neighborhoods had higher incidence rates.Nativity, residential enclave status, and neighborhood SES characterize Hispanics and Asians with significantly unequal incidence rates of liver cancer, implicating behavioral or environmental risk factors and revealing opportunities for prevention.Liver cancer control efforts should especially target foreign-born Asians, U.S.-born Hispanic men, and residents of lower-SES ethnic enclaves.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-10-0863

    View details for Web of Science ID 000285285900012

    View details for PubMedID 20940276

  • Small molecule antagonists of Tcf4/beta-catenin complex inhibit the growth of HCC cells in vitro and in vivo INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CANCER Wei, W., Chua, M., Grepper, S., So, S. 2010; 126 (10): 2426-2436


    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the 5th most common cancer worldwide. It is intrinsically resistant toward standard chemotherapy, making it imperative to develop novel selective chemotherapeutic agents. The Wnt/beta-catenin pathway plays critical roles in development and oncogenesis, and is dysregulated in HCC. Our study aims to evaluate the activity of 3 small molecule antagonists of the Tcf4/beta-catenin complex (PKF118-310, PKF115-584 and CGP049090) on HCC cell lines in vitro and in vivo. All 3 chemicals displayed dose-dependent cytotoxicity in vitro against all 3 HCC cell lines (HepG2, Hep40 and Huh7), but were at least 10 times less cytotoxic to normal hepatocytes (from 3 donors) by using ATP assay. In HepG2 and Huh7 cells, treatment with the antagonists decreased Tcf4/beta-catenin binding capability and transcriptional activity, associated with downregulation of the endogenous Tcf4/ beta-catenin target genes c-Myc, cyclin D1 and survivin. In HepG2 and Huh7 cells, treatment with the antagonists induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest at the G1/S phase. All antagonists suppressed in vivo tumor growth in a HepG2 xenograft model, associated with apoptosis and reduced c-Myc, cyclin D1 and survivin expressions. Our results suggest that these 3 antagonists of the Tcf4/beta-catenin complex are potential chemotherapeutic agents which may offer a pathway specific option for the clinical management of HCC.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/ijc.24810

    View details for Web of Science ID 000276928700016

    View details for PubMedID 19662654

  • Achieving health equity to eliminate racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in HBV- and HCV-associated liver disease JOURNAL OF FAMILY PRACTICE El-Serag, H., McGlynn, K. A., Graham, G. N., So, S., Howell, C. D., Fang, T., Anderson, J. T., Thiel, T. K. 2010; 59 (4): S37-S42

    View details for Web of Science ID 000293086300006

    View details for PubMedID 20398589

  • Hepatitis B and liver cancer knowledge and practices among healthcare and public health professionals in China: a cross-sectional study BMC PUBLIC HEALTH Chao, J., Chang, E. T., So, S. K. 2010; 10


    Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is the leading cause of liver disease and liver cancer and a major source of health-related discrimination in China. To better target HBV detection and prevention programs, it is necessary to assess existing HBV knowledge, educational resources, reporting, and preventive practices, particularly among those health professionals who would be responsible for implementing such programs.At the China National Conference on the Prevention and Control of Viral Hepatitis on April 26-29, 2004, the Asian Liver Center at Stanford University partnered with the China Foundation for Hepatitis Prevention and Control to distribute a voluntary written questionnaire to Chinese healthcare and public health professionals from regional and provincial Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health departments, and medical centers. Correct responses to survey questions were summed into a total knowledge score, and multivariate linear regression was used to compare differences in the score by participant characteristics.Although the median score was 81% correct, knowledge about HBV was inadequate, even among such highly trained health professionals. Of the 250 participants who completed the survey, 34% did not know that chronic HBV infection is often asymptomatic and 29% did not know that chronic HBV infection confers a high risk of cirrhosis, liver cancer, and premature death. Furthermore, 34% failed to recognize all the modes of HBV transmission and 30% did not know the importance of the hepatitis B vaccine in preventing liver disease. Respondents who reported poorer preventive practices, such as not having personally been tested for HBV and not routinely disposing of used medical needles, scored significantly lower in HBV knowledge than those who reported sound preventive practices. Of note, 38% of respondents reported positive HBsAg results to patients' employers and 25% reported positive results to patients' schools, thereby subjecting those with positive results to potential discriminatory practices.These results indicate that there is a need for development of effective educational programs to improve HBV knowledge among health professionals and the general public to avoid missed vaccination opportunities, reduce misconceptions, and eliminate discrimination based on chronic hepatitis B in China.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/1471-2458-10-98

    View details for Web of Science ID 000276447300002

    View details for PubMedID 20184740

  • Cost-Effectiveness of Nationwide Hepatitis B Catch-up Vaccination Among Children and Adolescents in China HEPATOLOGY Hutton, D. W., So, S. K., Brandeau, M. L. 2010; 51 (2): 405-414


    Liver disease and liver cancer associated with childhood-acquired chronic hepatitis B are leading causes of death among adults in China. Despite expanded newborn hepatitis B vaccination programs, approximately 20% of children under age 5 years and 40% of children aged 5 to 19 years remain unprotected from hepatitis B. Although immunizing them will be beneficial, no studies have examined the cost-effectiveness of hepatitis B catch-up vaccination in an endemic country like China. We examined the cost-effectiveness of a hypothetical nationwide free hepatitis B catch-up vaccination program in China for unvaccinated children and adolescents aged 1 to 19 years. We used a Markov model for disease progression and infections. Cost variables were based on data published by the Chinese Ministry of Health, peer-reviewed Chinese and English publications, and the GAVI Alliance. We measured costs (2008 U.S. dollars and Chinese renminbi), quality-adjusted life years, and incremental cost-effectiveness from a societal perspective. Our results show that hepatitis B catch-up vaccination for children and adolescents in China is cost-saving across a range of parameters, even for adolescents aged 15 to 19 years old. We estimate that if all 150 million susceptible children under 19 were vaccinated, more than 8 million infections and 65,000 deaths due to hepatitis B would be prevented.The adoption of a nationwide free catch-up hepatitis B vaccination program for unvaccinated children and adolescents in China, in addition to ongoing efforts to improve birth dose and newborn vaccination coverage, will be cost-saving and can generate significant population-wide health benefits. The success of such a program in China could serve as a model for other endemic countries.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/hep.23310

    View details for Web of Science ID 000274131200009

    View details for PubMedID 19839061

  • Phase I/II Study of PHY906/Capecitabine in Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma ANTICANCER RESEARCH Yen, Y., So, S., Rose, M., Saif, M. W., Chu, E., Liu, S., Foo, A., Jiang, Z., Su, T., Cheng, Y. 2009; 29 (10): 4083-4092


    PHY906 is a Chinese medicine formula with claims for the treatment of severe gastrointestinal distress. PHY906 enhanced the therapeutic index of various chemotherapeutic agents in human hepatocellular carcinoma xenografts. Accordingly, here a phase I/II clinical study was conducted with the combination of capecitabine in patients with advanced, unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma. More than 60% of patients had either stable disease or better after two treatment cycles. Median overall survival was 9.2 months. Asian patients had a higher median overall survival (16.5 months) than non-Asian patients (6.2 months, p=0.03). Patients' quality of life did not deteriorate significantly during treatment. This finding supported further investigation of PHY906 as an adjuvant therapy of capecitabine in a larger hepatocellular cancer population.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000271487400053

    View details for PubMedID 19846955

  • Blockade of Wnt-1 signaling leads to anti-tumor effects in hepatocellular carcinoma cells MOLECULAR CANCER Wei, W., Chua, M., Grepper, S., So, S. K. 2009; 8


    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is an aggressive cancer, and is the third leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Standard therapy is ineffective partly because HCC is intrinsically resistant to conventional chemotherapy. Its poor prognosis and limited treatment options make it critical to develop novel and selective chemotherapeutic agents. Since the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway is essential in HCC carcinogenesis, we studied the inhibition of Wnt-1-mediated signaling as a potential molecular target in HCC.We demonstrated that Wnt-1 is highly expressed in human hepatoma cell lines and a subgroup of human HCC tissues compared to paired adjacent non-tumor tissues. An anti-Wnt-1 antibody dose-dependently decreased viability and proliferation of Huh7 and Hep40 cells over-expressing Wnt-1 and harboring wild type beta-catenin, but did not affect normal hepatocytes with undetectable Wnt-1 expression. Apoptosis was also observed in Huh7 and Hep40 cells after treatment with anti-Wnt-1 antibody. In these two cell lines, the anti-Wnt-1 antibody decreased beta-catenin/Tcf4 transcriptional activities, which were associated with down-regulation of the endogenous beta-catenin/Tcf4 target genes c-Myc, cyclin D1, and survivin. Intratumoral injection of anti-Wnt-1 antibody suppressed in vivo tumor growth in a Huh7 xenograft model, which was also associated with apoptosis and reduced c-Myc, cyclin D1, and survivin expressions.Our results suggest that Wnt-1 is a survival factor for HCC cells, and that the blockade of Wnt-1-mediated signaling may offer a potential pathway-specific therapeutic strategy for the treatment of a subgroup of HCC that over-expresses Wnt-1.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/1476-4598-8-76

    View details for Web of Science ID 000270970900002

    View details for PubMedID 19778454

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2759906

  • The Jade Ribbon Campaign: A Model Program for Community Outreach and Education to Prevent Liver Cancer in Asian Americans JOURNAL OF IMMIGRANT AND MINORITY HEALTH Chao, S. D., Chang, E. T., Le, P. V., Prapong, W., Kiernan, M., So, S. K. 2009; 11 (4): 281-290


    The Jade Ribbon Campaign (JRC) is a culturally targeted, community-based outreach program to promote the prevention, early detection, and management of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and liver cancer among Asian Americans. In 2001, 476 Chinese American adults from the San Francisco Bay Area attended an HBV screening clinic and educational seminar. The prevalence of chronic HBV infection was 13%; only 8% of participants showed serologic evidence of protective antibody from prior vaccination. Participants reported low preventive action before the clinic, but after one year, 67% of those with chronic HBV infection had consulted a physician for liver cancer screening, and 78% of all participants had encouraged family members to be tested for HBV. The increase in HBV awareness, screening, and physician follow-up suggests that culturally aligned interventions similar to the JRC may help reduce the disproportionate burden of disease to chronic HBV infection among Asian Americans.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10903-007-9094-2

    View details for Web of Science ID 000281505100005

    View details for PubMedID 17990118

  • Frequent Inactivation of Axon Guidance Molecule RGMA in Human Colon Cancer Through Genetic and Epigenetic Mechanisms GASTROENTEROLOGY Li, V. S., Yuen, S. T., Chan, T. L., Yan, H. H., Law, W. L., Yeung, B. H., Chan, A. S., Tsui, W. Y., So, S., Chen, X., Leung, S. Y. 2009; 137 (1): 176-187


    Repulsive guidance molecule member A (RGMA) is a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored glycoprotein and axon guidance molecule that signals through its receptor, neogenin (NEO1), a homologue of the deleted-in-colorectal cancer (DCC) gene. RGMA also functions as a bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) coreceptor. We studied the potential roles of RGMA and NEO1 in colorectal cancer (CRC) pathogenesis.We analyzed expression of RGMA and NEO1, as well as their epigenetic and genetic changes, in a large series of CRC samples, normal colon tissues, adenomas, and cell lines. These studies were accompanied by in vitro functional assay.RGMA and NEO1 expression were significantly down-regulated in most CRCs, adenomas, and cell lines. RGMA was frequently silenced by promoter methylation in CRCs (86.7%), adenomas (90.9%), and CRC cell lines (92.3%) but not in normal colon tissues; allelic imbalance of RGMA and NEO1 was observed in 40% and 49% of CRCs, respectively. In CRC samples, reduced RGMA levels were significantly associated with mismatch repair deficiency or mutations in KRAS or BRAF. Exposure to 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine restored RGMA expression in CRC cell lines. Transfection of RGMA into CRC cells suppressed cell proliferation, migration, and invasion and also increased apoptosis in response to DNA-damaging agent.The frequent genetic and epigenetic inactivation of RGMA in CRCs and adenomas along with its in vitro function collectively support its role as a tumor suppressor in colon cells. These findings add to the expanding list of axon guidance molecules with disrupted function during colon carcinogenesis and create new opportunities for early detection and drug development.

    View details for DOI 10.1053/j.gastro.2009.03.005

    View details for Web of Science ID 000267410100028

    View details for PubMedID 19303019

  • Stopping a Silent Killer in the Underserved Asian and Pacific Islander Community: A Chronic Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer Prevention Clinic by Medical Students ASIAN PACIFIC JOURNAL OF CANCER PREVENTION Lin, S. Y., Chang, E. T., So, S. K. 2009; 10 (3): 383-386


    To assess and alleviate the burden of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection among low-income, uninsured Asian and Pacific Islanders (APIs) in San Jose, California.From 2007 to 2008, we provided free HBV testing and follow-up to 510 patients, 74% of whom were foreign-born Vietnamese. Patients were tested for hepatitis B surface antigen and surface antibody. Chronically infected patients who elected to undergo follow-up monitoring were evaluated for liver damage (ALT), liver cancer (AFP), and HBV replication (HBV DNA).Overall, 17% were chronically infected; 33% of these were unaware that they were infected. Of those who underwent follow-up monitoring, 100% had elevated ALT, 9% had elevated AFP, and 24% had HBV DNA levels that exceeded the threshold for treatment. Patients who were candidates for antiviral therapy were enrolled in drug assistance programs, and those with elevated AFP levels were referred for CT scans. Uninfected patients lacking protective antibodies were provided free HBV vaccinations.More liver cancer prevention in the medically underserved API community is needed, including universal screening for HBV and follow-up for those chronically infected.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000270750100011

    View details for PubMedID 19640178

  • 3 For Life: A Model Pilot Program to Prevent Hepatitis B Virus Infection and Liver Cancer in Asian and Pacific Islander Americans AMERICAN JOURNAL OF HEALTH PROMOTION Chang, E. T., Sue, E., Zola, J., So, S. K. 2009; 23 (3): 176-181


    3 For Life aims to increase hepatitis B virus (HBV) awareness and reduce the high prevalence of undiagnosed chronic HBV infection and susceptibility among Asian/Pacific Islander (API) adults.This pilot program offered low-cost HBV vaccination with free HBV testing targeted primarily at foreign-born Chinese adults.Semimonthly screening and vaccination clinics were held in San Francisco, California, for 1 year.A total of 1206 adults accessed the program.Participants paid a discounted fee for a full vaccine series against HBV, hepatitis A virus (HAV), or both. Participants also provided blood samples for HBV serologic testing. Test results, recommendations, and appointment reminders were provided by mail.We compared the probability of completing a recommended vaccine series by HBV serologic status and sociodemographic characteristics.Proportions were compared using multivariate logistic regression models.Nine percent of adults were chronically infected with HBV, and 53% were unprotected. In the latter group, 85% completed the HBV vaccine series. The probability of completing a recommended hepatitis vaccine series was similar across most sociodemographic groups, with slightly higher completion rates among middle-aged and Chinese participants.Lessons learned from this pilot program have been used toward successful replication in other cities, demonstrating that 3 For Life is an accessible, affordable, reproducible, and sustainable model to increase HBV awareness, testing, and prevention among API adults.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000262498400004

    View details for PubMedID 19149422

  • Eliminating the Threat of Chronic Hepatitis B in the Asian and Pacific Islander Community: A Call to Action ASIAN PACIFIC JOURNAL OF CANCER PREVENTION Chao, S. D., Chang, E. T., So, S. K. 2009; 10 (3): 507-512


    Chronic hepatitis B in the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) population is among our nation's greatest ethnic and racial health disparities. Despite comprising 4.3% of the population, API make up a disproportionate half of the 1.2-2 million Americans living with chronic hepatitis B. As many as two-thirds of API are not aware of their infection because they have not been tested. This lack of knowledge prevents them from undergoing life-saving liver cancer screening and potential treatment. Likewise, those not protected are unaware that they should be vaccinated. Instead, there is a pervasive lack of awareness among API and healthcare providers. New concerted public health actions are needed to eliminate this major health disparity.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000270750100033

    View details for PubMedID 19640200

  • N-Myc down-regulated gene 1 mediates proliferation, invasion, and apoptosis of hepatocellular carcinoma cells CANCER LETTERS Yan, X., Chua, M., Sun, H., So, S. 2008; 262 (1): 133-142


    The over-expression of N-myc down-regulated gene 1 (NDRG1) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) was previously reported to correlate with vascular invasion and patient survival. Our current study aims to elucidate its functions in HCC. We found that it lacked the tumorigenic ability to promote soft agar colony formation or serum-independent growth of NIH3T3 cells. We used specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) oligos to suppress the expression of NDRG1 in human HCC (Hep3B and HepG2) cell lines, and found that this significantly reduced cell proliferation and invasion, and induced apoptosis. Additionally, NDRG1-specific siRNA inhibited the HepG2 xenograft growth in nude mice. These results are consistent with our earlier clinical observations that NDRG1 is associated with more aggressive tumor behavior, and suggest that NDRG1 may be a potential therapeutic target for HCC.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.canlet.2007.12.010

    View details for Web of Science ID 000254683900016

    View details for PubMedID 18207320

  • Small interfering RNA targeting CDC25B inhibits liver tumor growth in vitro and in vivo MOLECULAR CANCER Yan, X., Chua, M., He, J., So, S. K. 2008; 7


    Using gene expression profiling, we previously identified CDC25B to be significantly highly expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) compared to non-tumor liver. CDC25B is a cell cycle-activating phosphatase that positively regulates the activity of cyclin-dependent kinases, and is over-expressed in a variety of human malignancies. In this study, we validated the over-expression of CDC25B in HCC, and further investigated its potential as a therapeutic target for the management of HCC.Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical staining of patient samples confirmed the significant over-expression of CDC25B in HCC compared to non-tumor liver samples (P < 0.001). Thus, intefering with the expression and activity of CDC25B may be a potential way to intervene with HCC progression. We used RNA interference to study the biological effects of silencing CDC25B expression in HCC cell lines (Hep3B and Hep40), in order to validate its potential as a therapeutic target. Using small oligo siRNAs targeting the coding region of CDC25B, we effectively suppressed CDC25B expression by up to 90%. This was associatetd with significant reductions in cell growth rate, cell migration and invasion through the matrigel membrane, and caused significant cell cycle delay at the G2 phase. Finally, suppression of CDC25B significantly slowed the growth of Hep40 xenografts in nude mice.Our data provide evidence that the inhibition of CDC25B expression and activity lead to suppression of tumor cell growth and motility, and may therefore be a feasible approach in the clinical management of HCC.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/1476-4598-7-19

    View details for Web of Science ID 000254456800001

    View details for PubMedID 18269767

  • Phase H study of imatinib in unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY-CANCER CLINICAL TRIALS Lin, A. Y., Fisher, G. A., So, S., Tang, C., Levitt, L. 2008; 31 (1): 84-88


    The expression of platelet-derived growth factor, a potent mitogen, and its receptor both in tissue and serum correlate with the severity of liver cirrhosis. Over-expression of platelet-derived growth factor has been demonstrated in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tumors and cell lines. Imatinib, a potent inhibitor of BCR-ABL and c-kit, also inhibits the platelet-derived growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase. The trial was designed to assess the efficacy and safety of imatinib in patients with unresectable HCC.Eligibility criteria consisted of HCC patient over the age of 18 with reasonable organ function, unresectable but measurable disease, not candidates for chemoinfusion, and a performance status of 0 to 2. Imatinib was started at 300 mg/d orally with 100 mg/wk dose escalation up to 800 mg/d if toxicity permitted.Fifteen patients, median age 58 years, were enrolled and treated with imatinib. Most, or 7, patients had hepatitis B virus as a risk factor for HCC, followed by hepatitis C virus in 3 patients. Metastatic disease (American Joint Committee on Cancer stage IV) was noted in 13 patients and locally advanced (stage III) in the remainder. The median dose-level of imatinib was 500 mg/d. Two patients had stable disease lasting more than 2 months. The remainder progressed within 2 months of initiation of imatinib. No grade 3 or 4 hematologic toxicity was observed. Two patients had grade 3 elevated liver function tests during treatment; otherwise, there was no other grade 3 or 4 nonhematologic toxicity noted.Although toxicities were tolerable, imatinib as a monotherapy for the treatment of unresectable HCC has little, if any, significant efficacy.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/COC.0b013e3181131db9

    View details for Web of Science ID 000253102700014

    View details for PubMedID 18376233

  • Antibody Arrays Identify Potential Diagnostic Markers of Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Biomarker insights Sun, H., Chua, M., Yang, D., Tsalenko, A., Peter, B. J., So, S. 2008; 3: 1-18


    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Effective treatment of HCC patients is hampered by the lack of sensitive and specific diagnostic markers of HCC. Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), the currently used HCC marker, misses 30%-50% of HCC patients, who therefore remain undiagnosed and untreated. In order to identify novel diagnostic markers that can be used individually or in combination with AFP, we used an antibody array platform to detect the levels of candidate proteins in the plasma of HCC patients (n = 48) and patients with chronic hepatitis B or C viral infections (n = 19) (both of which are the major risk factors of HCC). We identified 7 proteins that significantly differentiate HCC patients from hepatitis patients (p < 0.05) (AFP, CTNNB, CSF1, SELL, IGFBP6, IL6R, and VCAM1). Importantly, we also identified 8 proteins that significantly differentiate HCC patients with 'normal' levels of AFP (< 20 ng/ml) from hepatitis patients (p < 0.05) (IL1RN, IFNG, CDKN1A, RETN, CXCL14, CTNNB, FGF2, and SELL). These markers are potentially important complementary markers to AFP. Using an independent immunoassay method in an independent group of 23 HCC patients and 22 hepatitis patients, we validated that plasma levels of CTNNB were significantly higher in the HCC group (p = 0.020). In conclusion, we used an antibody array platform to identify potential circulating diagnostic markers of HCC, some of which may be valuable when used in combination with AFP. The clinical utility of these newly identified HCC diagnostic markers needs to be systematically evaluated.

    View details for PubMedID 19578489

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2688354

  • Attitudes toward Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer Prevention among Chinese Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area, California ASIAN PACIFIC JOURNAL OF CANCER PREVENTION Chang, E. T., Nguyen, B. H., So, S. K. 2008; 9 (4): 605-613


    Chronic hepatitis B and associated liver cancer constitute important health threats with disparity among Asian/Pacific Islander Americans (APIs). However, many APIs are unaware of and unprotected against these diseases.To inform the development of community-based programs to increase hepatitis B and liver cancer awareness and prevention among APIs, we conducted a series of qualitative focus groups in 2007 to identify motivations and deterrents related to hepatitis B education, testing, and vaccination among San Francisco Bay Area Chinese Americans. Six focus groups were held in Cantonese, English, or Mandarin for women or men, respectively. Recorded transcripts were transcribed, translated, and then coded by consensus.Factors that motivated individuals to be tested for hepatitis B included peace of mind, prevention of transmission to others, informed decision-making ability, convenience, and pre-vaccination screening. Primary motivations for hepatitis B vaccination were protection of future health and avoidance of hepatitis B. However, factors that discouraged people from testing or vaccination included costs, lack of health insurance, fear of side effects, worries about reliability or efficacy, poor patient-doctor communication, reliance on professional opinion, apparent good health, inconvenience, and personal preference. Individuals were generally in favor of informing relatives and friends about hepatitis B testing and vaccination, and offered several reasons for and against educating others about these activities.In summary, our study identifies common attitudes and influences regarding the decision to take preventive action against hepatitis B and liver cancer. These findings can be applied toward the design of more effective educational and outreach materials and programs for Chinese Americans and possibly other APIs.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000269713600014

    View details for PubMedID 19256747

  • Building partnerships with Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners to increase hepatitis B awareness and prevention JOURNAL OF ALTERNATIVE AND COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE Chang, E. T., Lin, S. Y., Sue, E., Bergin, M., Su, J., So, S. K. 2007; 13 (10): 1125-1127


    The annual Hepatitis B Prevention and Education Symposium aims to develop partnerships between non-Western and Western health care providers to prevent chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and death from liver cancer among Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs).Each year from 2004 through 2007, we partnered with professional, academic, and community-based organizations to organize an educational symposium for Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners and acupuncturists in California. Participants completed pre- and postsymposium surveys assessing knowledge about HBV and liver cancer.The symposia were held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Stanford, California.Over 1000 participants attended the four symposia combined; most were born in Asia.Symposium activities included educational lectures and games, presentation of a physician's guide to HBV management, and case studies.Chi-square tests were used to compare the proportion of correct responses to each knowledge-based question, as well as the total number of correct responses, before and after the symposium.Knowledge about HBV and liver cancer was low prior to the symposium. The proportion of correct responses to the most commonly mistaken questions increased significantly at the conclusion of each symposium. The total number of correct responses rose from below 60% to above 75% each year.Similar educational symposia targeting health care providers who serve API patients can improve HBV and liver cancer awareness and prevention throughout the API community.

    View details for DOI 10.1089/acm.2007.0655

    View details for Web of Science ID 000252247200014

    View details for PubMedID 18166125

  • Re: "Ten largest racial and ethnic health disparities in the United States based on healthy people 2010 objectives" AMERICAN JOURNAL OF EPIDEMIOLOGY Chang, E. T., So, S. K. 2007; 166 (9): 1105-1106

    View details for DOI 10.1093/aje/kwm26

    View details for Web of Science ID 000250400700016

    View details for PubMedID 17881381

  • Cost-effectiveness of screening and vaccinating Asian and pacific islander adults for hepatitis B ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE Hutton, D. W., Tan, D., So, S. K., Brandeau, M. L. 2007; 147 (7): 460-469


    As many as 10% of Asian and Pacific Islander adults in the United States are chronically infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV), and up to two thirds are unaware that they are infected. Without proper medical management and antiviral therapy, up to 25% of Asian and Pacific Islander persons with chronic HBV infection will die of liver disease.To assess the cost-effectiveness of 4 HBV screening and vaccination programs for Asian and Pacific Islander adults in the United States.Markov model with costs and benefits discounted at 3%.Published literature and expert opinion.Asian and Pacific Islander adults (base-case age, 40 years; sensitivity analysis conducted on ages 20 to 60 years).Lifetime.U.S. societal.A universal vaccination strategy in which all individuals are given a 3-dose vaccination series; a screen-and-treat strategy, in which individuals are given blood tests to determine whether they are chronically infected, and infected persons are monitored and treated; a screen, treat, and ring vaccinate strategy, in which all individuals are tested for chronic HBV infection and close contacts of infected persons are screened and vaccinated if needed; and a screen, treat, and vaccinate strategy, in which all individuals are tested and then vaccinated with a 3-dose series if needed. In all cases, persons found to be chronically infected are monitored and treated if indicated.Costs (2006 U.S. dollars), quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), and incremental cost-effectiveness.Compared with the status quo, the screen-and-treat strategy has an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of $36,088 per QALY gained. The screen, treat, and ring vaccinate strategy gains more QALYs than the screen and treat strategy and incurs modest incremental costs, leading to incremental cost-effectiveness of $39,903 per QALY gained compared with the screen and treat strategy. The universal vaccination and screen, treat, and vaccinate strategies were weakly dominated by the other 2 strategies.Over a wide range of variables, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratios of the screen and treat and screen, treat, and ring vaccinate strategies were less than $50,000 per QALY gained.Results depend on the accuracy of the underlying data and assumptions. The long-term effectiveness of new and future HBV treatments is uncertain.Screening programs for HBV among Asian and Pacific Islander adults are likely to be cost effective. Clinically significant benefits accrue from identifying chronically infected persons for medical management and vaccinating their close contacts. Such efforts can greatly reduce the burden of HBV-associated liver cancer and chronic liver disease in the Asian and Pacific Islander population.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000250214700003

    View details for PubMedID 17909207

  • Why we should routinely screen Asian American adults for hepatitis B: A cross-sectional study of Asians in California HEPATOLOGY Lin, S. Y., Chang, E. T., So, S. K. 2007; 46 (4): 1034-1040


    Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a serious liver disease that, if left undiagnosed or without appropriate medical management, is associated with a 25% chance of death from cirrhosis or liver cancer. To study the demographics and prevalence of chronic HBV infection and HBV vaccination in the Asian American population, we provided free HBV serological screening and administered a survey to 3163 Asian American adult volunteers in the San Francisco Bay Area between 2001 and 2006. Of those screened, 8.9% were chronically infected with HBV. Notably, one-half to two-thirds (65.4%) of the chronically infected adults were unaware that they were infected. Of those who were not chronically infected, 44.8% lacked protective antibodies against HBV and were likely susceptible to future infection. Men were twice as likely as women to be chronically infected (12.1% versus 6.4%). Asian Americans born in East Asia, Southeast Asia, or the Pacific Islands were 19.4 times more likely to be chronically infected than those born in the United States. Self-reporting of prior vaccination was unreliable to assess protection against HBV. Among the 12% who reported having been vaccinated, 5.2% were chronically infected, and 20.3% lacked protective antibodies.Given the high prevalence of unrecognized chronic HBV infection in the Asian American population, we call for healthcare providers to routinely screen Asian adults for HBV, regardless of their vaccination status. Those who test positive should be provided with culturally appropriate information to prevent disease transmission and proper medical management to reduce their risk of liver disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/hep.21784

    View details for Web of Science ID 000249910500013

    View details for PubMedID 17654490

  • Identification of prognostically-relevant signature genes differentially expressed between primary colorectal carcinoma and hepatic metastasis Lin, A. Y., Chua, M., Choi, Y. L., Yeh, W., Kim, Y. H., Azzi, R., So, S. K., Pollack, J. R. AMER SOC CLINICAL ONCOLOGY. 2007
  • Phase I/II study of PHY906/capecitabine in hepatocellular carcinoma Rose, M. G., Yen, Y., So, S., Saif, M. W., Chu, E., Liu, S., Jiang, Z., Foo, A., Tilton, R., Cheng, Y. AMER SOC CLINICAL ONCOLOGY. 2007
  • The burden of liver cancer in Asians and Pacific Islanders in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, 1990 through 2004 CANCER Chang, E. T., Keegan, T. H., Gomez, S. L., Le, G. M., Clarke, C. A., So, S. K., Glaser, S. L. 2007; 109 (10): 2100-2108


    To the authors' knowledge, no previous U.S. study has examined time trends in the incidence rate of liver cancer in the high-risk Asian/Pacific Islander population. In this study, liver cancer incidence trends were evaluated in Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese men and women in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area of California between 1990 and 2004.Populations at risk were estimated by using the cohort-component demographic method. Annual percentage changes (APCs) in age-adjusted incidence rates of primary liver cancer among Asians/Pacific Islanders in the Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry were calculated by using joinpoint regression analysis.The incidence rate of liver cancer between 1990 and 2004 did not change significantly in Asian/Pacific Islander men or women overall. However, the incidence rate declined, although the decline was not statistically significant, among Chinese men (APC, -1.6%; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], -3.4-0.3%), Japanese men (APC, -4.9%; 95% CI, -10.7-1.2%), and Japanese women (APC, -3.6%; 95% CI, -8.9-2%). Incidence rates remained consistently high for Vietnamese, Korean, and Filipino men and women. Trends in the incidence rate of hepatocellular carcinoma were comparable to those for liver cancer. Although disparities in liver cancer incidence between Asians/Pacific Islanders and other racial/ethnic groups diminished between the period from 1990 through 1994 and the period from 2000 through 2004, the disparities among Asian subgroups increased.Liver cancer continues to affect Asian/Pacific Islander Americans disproportionately, with consistently high incidence rates in most subgroups. Culturally targeted prevention methods are needed to reduce the high rates of liver cancer in this growing population in the U.S.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/cncr.22642

    View details for Web of Science ID 000246252800024

    View details for PubMedID 17385214

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2777532

  • Overexpression of NDRG1 is an indicator of poor prognosis in hepatocellular carcinoma MODERN PATHOLOGY Chua, M., Sun, H., Cheung, S. T., Mason, V., Higgins, J., Ross, D. T., Fan, S. T., So, S. 2007; 20 (1): 76-83


    Hepatocellular carcinoma is a highly lethal cancer that typically has poor prognosis. Prognostic markers can help in its clinical management and in understanding the biology of poor prognosis. Through an earlier gene expression study, we identified N-Myc downregulated gene 1 (NDRG1) to be significantly highly expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma compared to nontumor liver. As NDRG1 is a differentiation-related gene with putative metastasis suppressor activity, we investigated the clinical significance of its overexpression. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction using an independent set of patient samples confirmed the significant overexpression of NDRG1 in hepatocellular carcinoma compared to nontumor liver samples (P<0.001). Additionally, high levels of NDRG1 transcript correlated with shorter overall survival (P<0.001), late tumor stage (P=0.001), vascular invasion (P=0.003), large tumor size (P=0.011), and high Edmondson-Steiner histological grade (P=0.005). Using immunohistochemistry, NDRG1 protein was found to be significantly overexpressed in hepatocellular carcinoma samples compared to nontumor liver or cirrhotic and benign liver lesions (P<0.001). Among the hepatocellular carcinoma samples, those which are moderately and poorly differentiated express higher levels of NDRG1 protein than those which are well-differentiated (P<0.005). Additionally, hepatocellular carcinomas with vascular invasion also express elevated levels of NDRG1 protein compared to those without vascular invasion (significant at P<0.005). Our results suggest NDRG1 to be a likely tumor marker for hepatocellular carcinoma, the overexpression of which is correlated with tumor differentiation, vascular invasion, and overall survival. Its significantly elevated expression in hepatocellular carcinoma could be a useful indicator of tumor aggressiveness and therefore patient prognosis.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/modpathol.3800711

    View details for Web of Science ID 000243005000010

    View details for PubMedID 17170744

  • Hepatitis B and liver cancer knowledge and preventive practices among Asian Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area, California ASIAN PACIFIC JOURNAL OF CANCER PREVENTION Wu, C. A., Lin, S. Y., So, S. K., Chang, E. T. 2007; 8 (1): 127-134


    Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection causes liver cancer and disproportionately affects the Asian community in the U.S. In order to advance HBV and liver cancer awareness and prevention, it is important to identify existing gaps in knowledge and preventive practices among Asian Americans. Therefore, the authors administered a written questionnaire to 199 adults in the Asian-American community of the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Although the majority of adults had at least a college education, knowledge regarding HBV transmission, prevention, symptoms, risks, and occurrence was low. Fewer than 60% reported having been tested for HBV, only 31% reported having been vaccinated against HBV, and only 44% reported having had their children vaccinated. Asians, especially those born in China or Southeast Asia, had significantly poorer knowledge regarding HBV and liver cancer than non-Asians. Those with higher knowledge levels were significantly more likely to have been tested for HBV and to have had their children vaccinated. Younger adults, women, Caucasians, more highly educated individuals, those not born in China or Hong Kong, and those with a personal or family history of liver disease were more likely to have taken preventive action against HBV. Our results suggest that HBV and liver cancer knowledge among Asian Americans, especially Chinese Americans, is poor, and that better knowledge is associated with increased preventive practices. Thus, there is a need for increased HBV education and improved community-based interventions to prevent HBV-related liver disease in the high-risk Asian-American community.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000253887000026

    View details for PubMedID 17477787

  • Comprehensive analysis of 19q12 amplicon in human gastric cancers MODERN PATHOLOGY Leung, S. Y., Ho, C., Tu, I., Li, R., So, S., Chu, K., Yuen, S. T., Chen, X. 2006; 19 (6): 854-863


    Amplification at 19q12 has been observed in multiple tumor types, while cyclin E1 (CCNE1) has been considered to be the key oncogene within this amplicon. We have previously applied cDNA microarray analysis to systematically characterize gene expression patterns of gastric tumor and nontumor samples. We identified a cluster of five tightly coregulated genes all located at chromosome 19q12, including CCNE1. We found that the 19q12 gene cluster is highly expressed in gastric tumors compared to nontumor gastric samples. Array based comparative genomic hybridization and real-time PCR was used to define the boundary of the 19q12 amplicon to a region of approximately 200 kb. Interestingly, we found that in some cases amplification at 19q12 was not associated with DNA copy number gain at CCNE1, suggesting that some other genes within the 19q12 amplicon may also have important function during gastric tumorigenesis. We found high expression of the 19q12 gene cluster to be statistically correlated with the cell proliferation gene signature. Using the SAM software, we identified a set of 577 genes whose expression levels positively correlated with the 19q12 gene cluster. GO term analysis revealed that this genelist is enriched with genes involved in cell cycle regulation and cell proliferation. In conclusion, expression array analysis combined with array comparative genomic hybridization and real-time PCR provides a new and powerful tool to identify clusters of genes which may be regulated by genomic DNA aberrations. In addition, our study indicates that amplification at 19q12 is associated with cell proliferation in vivo.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/modpathol.3800593

    View details for Web of Science ID 000237674100013

    View details for PubMedID 16575401

  • Gallium maltolate is a promising chemotherapeutic agent for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma ANTICANCER RESEARCH Chua, M., Bernstein, L. R., Li, R., So, S. K. 2006; 26 (3A): 1739-1743


    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a particularly lethal cancer with few treatment options. Since gallium is known to accumulate specifically in HCC tumors but not in non-tumor liver, we investigated two gallium compounds, gallium nitrate (GaN) and gallium maltolate (GaM), as potential new agents for treating HCC.The anti-proliferative and apoptotic activities of GaN and GaM were assessed in vitro using four HCC cell lines. HCC gene expression data was analyzed to provide a mechanistic rationale for using gallium in the treatment of HCC.Both compounds showed dose-dependent antiproliferative activity in all four HCC cell lines after 6-day drug exposure (IC50 values range from 60-250 microM for gallium nitrate and 25-35 microM for gallium maltolate). Gallium maltolate at 30 microM additionally induced apoptosis after 6 days. HCC gene expression data showed significantly elevated expression of the M2 subunit of ribonucleotide reductase, which is a target for the antiproliferative activity of gallium.These data support clinical testing of gallium maltolate, an orally active compound, in the treatment of HCC.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000238490700002

    View details for PubMedID 16827101

  • PHY906 as a broad-spectrum enhancer in cancer therapy: Clinical and preclinical results in hepatocellular carcinoma Liu, S., Foo, A., Jiang, Z., Marathe, R., Guan, J., Su, T., Tilton, R., Yen, Y., Rose, M., So, S., Chu, E., Cheng, Y. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2006
  • Sprouty 2, an inhibitor of mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling, is down-regulated in hepatocellular carcinoma CANCER RESEARCH Fong, C. W., Chua, M. S., McKie, A. B., Ling, S. H., Mason, L., Li, R., Yusoff, P., Lo, T. L., Leung, H. Y., So, S. K., Guy, G. R. 2006; 66 (4): 2048-2058


    The Sprouty proteins are increasingly being recognized to be deregulated in various types of cancers. This deregulation is often associated with aberrant signaling of receptor tyrosine kinases and its downstream effectors, leading to the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway. In human hepatocellular carcinoma, where the MAPK activity is enhanced via multiple hepatocarcinogenic factors, we observed a consistent reduced expression of the sprouty 2 (Spry2) transcript and protein in malignant hepatocytes compared with normal or cirrhotic hepatocytes. The expression pattern of Spry2 in hepatocellular carcinoma resembles that of several potential tumor markers of hepatocellular carcinoma and also that of several angiogenic factors and growth factor receptors. In contrast to previous studies of Spry2 down-regulation in other cancers, we have ruled out loss of heterozygosity or the methylation of promoter sites, two common mechanisms responsible for the silencing of genes with tumor suppressor properties. Functionally, we show that Spry2 inhibits both extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling as well as proliferation in hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines, whereas knocking down Spry2 levels in NIH3T3 cells causes mild transformation. Our study clearly indicates a role for Spry2 in hepatocellular carcinoma, and an understanding of the regulatory controls of its expression could provide new means of regulating the angiogenic switch in this hypervascular tumor, thereby potentially controlling tumor growth.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-05-1072

    View details for Web of Science ID 000235387200024

    View details for PubMedID 16489004

  • Topological and functional discovery in a gene coexpression meta-network of gastric cancer CANCER RESEARCH Aggarwal, A., Guo, D. L., Hoshida, Y., Yuen, S. T., Chu, K. M., So, S., Boussioutas, A., Chen, X., Bowtell, D., Aburatani, H., Leung, S. Y., Tan, P. 2006; 66 (1): 232-241


    Gastric cancer is a leading cause of global cancer mortality, but comparatively little is known about the cellular pathways regulating different aspects of the gastric cancer phenotype. To achieve a better understanding of gastric cancer at the levels of systems topology, functional modules, and constituent genes, we assembled and systematically analyzed a consensus gene coexpression meta-network of gastric cancer incorporating >300 tissue samples from four independent patient populations (the "gastrome"). We find that the gastrome exhibits a hierarchical scale-free architecture, with an internal structure comprising multiple deeply embedded modules associated with diverse cellular functions. Individual modules display distinct subtopologies, with some (cellular proliferation) being integrated within the primary network, and others (ribosomal biosynthesis) being relatively isolated. One module associated with intestinal differentiation exhibited a remarkably high degree of autonomy, raising the possibility that its specific topological features may contribute towards the frequent occurrence of intestinal metaplasia in gastric cancer. At the single-gene level, we discovered a novel conserved interaction between the PLA2G2A prognostic marker and the EphB2 receptor, and used tissue microarrays to validate the PLA2G2A/EphB2 association. Finally, because EphB2 is a known target of the Wnt signaling pathway, we tested and provide evidence that the Wnt pathway may also similarly regulate PLA2G2A. Many of these findings were not discernible by studying the single patient populations in isolation. Thus, besides enhancing our knowledge of gastric cancer, our results show the broad utility of applying meta-analytic approaches to genome-wide data for the purposes of biological discovery.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-05-2232

    View details for Web of Science ID 000234529500030

    View details for PubMedID 16397236

  • Array-based comparative genomic hybridization reveals recurrent chromosomal aberrations and Jab1 as a potential target for 8q gain in hepatocellular carcinoma CARCINOGENESIS Patil, M. A., Gutgemann, I., Zhang, J., Ho, C., Cheung, S. T., Ginzinger, D., Li, R., Dykema, K. J., So, S., Fan, S. T., Kakar, S., Furge, K. A., Buttner, R., Chen, X. 2005; 26 (12): 2050-2057


    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the major malignancies worldwide. We have previously characterized global gene expression patterns in HCC using microarrays. Here, we report the analysis of genomic DNA copy number among 49 HCC samples using BAC array-based comparative genomic hybridization (CGH). We observed recurrent and characteristic chromosomal aberrations, including frequent DNA copy number gains of 1q, 6p, 8q and 20q, and losses of 4q, 8p, 13q, 16q and 17p. We correlated gene expression with array CGH data, and identified a set of genes whose expression levels correlated with common chromosomal aberrations in HCC. Especially, we noticed that high expression of Jab1 in HCC significantly correlated with DNA copy number gain at 8q. Quantitative microsatellite analysis further confirmed DNA copy number gain at the Jab1 locus. Overexpression of Jab1 in HCC was also validated using real-time RT-PCR, and Jab1 protein levels were studied by immunohistochemistry on tissue microarrays. Functional analysis in HCC cell lines demonstrated that Jab1 may regulate HCC cell proliferation, thereby having a potential role in HCC development. In conclusion, this study shows that array-based CGH provides high resolution mapping of chromosomal aberrations in HCC, and demonstrates the feasibility of correlating array CGH data with gene expression data to identify novel oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/carcin/bgi178

    View details for Web of Science ID 000233415600003

    View details for PubMedID 16000397

  • Liver tumor gross margin identification and ablation monitoring during liver radiofrequency treatment JOURNAL OF VASCULAR AND INTERVENTIONAL RADIOLOGY Hsu, C. P., Razavi, M. K., So, S. K., Parachikov, I. H., Benaron, D. A. 2005; 16 (11): 1473-1478


    To determine whether tissue visible light spectroscopy (VLS) used during radiofrequency (RF) ablation of liver tumors could aid in detecting when tissue becomes adequately ablated, locate grossly ablated regions long after temperature and hydration measures would no longer be reliable, and differentiate tumor from normal hepatic tissue based on VLS spectral characteristics.Studies were performed on human liver in vivo and animal liver ex vivo. In three ex vivo cow livers, RF-induced lesions were created at 80 degrees C. A 28-gauge needle embedded with VLS optical fibers was inserted alongside an RF ablation array, and tissue spectral characteristics were recorded throughout ablation. In one anesthetized sheep in vivo, a VLS needle probe was passed through freshly ablated liver lesions, and ablated region spectral characteristics were recorded during probe transit. In two human subjects, a VLS needle probe was passed through liver tumors in patients undergoing hepatic tumor resection without ablation, and tumor spectral characteristics were recorded during probe transit.In bovine studies, there was significant change in baseline absorbance (P < .0001) as a result of increased light scattering as liver was ablated. Liver exhibited native differential absorbance peaks at 550 nm that disappeared during ablation, suggesting that optical spectroscopy detects markers of tissue altered during ablation. In sheep, liver gross ablation margins were clearly defined with millimeter resolution during needle transit through the region, suggesting that VLS is sensitive to gross margins of ablation, even after the temperature has normalized. In humans, absorbance decreased as the needle passed from normal tissue into tumor and normalized after emerging from the tumor, suggesting that absence of native liver pigment may serve as a marker for the gross margins and presence of tumors of extrahepatic origin.In human subjects, VLS during RF liver tumor ablation depicted gross hepatic tumor margins in real time; in animal subjects, VLS achieved monitoring of when and where RF ablation endpoints were achieved, even long after the tissue cooled. Real-time in vivo monitoring and treatment feedback may be possible with the use of real-time VLS sensors placed along side of, or embedded into, the RF probe, which can then be used as an adjunct to standard imaging during tumor localization and RF ablation treatment.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/01.RVI.000017833.30967.39

    View details for Web of Science ID 000233678000009

    View details for PubMedID 16319153

  • A phase II study of imatinib mesylate (IM) in patients (pts) with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). 41st Annual Meeting of the American-Society-of-Clinical-Oncology LIN, A. Y., Fisher, G., So, S., Tang, C., Levitt, L. AMER SOC CLINICAL ONCOLOGY. 2005: 363S–363S
  • An integrated data analysis approach to characterize genes highly expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma ONCOGENE Patil, M. A., Chua, M. S., Pan, K. H., Lin, R., Lih, C. J., Cheung, S. T., Ho, C., Li, R., Fan, S. T., Cohen, S. N., Chen, X., So, S. 2005; 24 (23): 3737-3747


    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the major causes of cancer deaths worldwide. New diagnostic and therapeutic options are needed for more effective and early detection and treatment of this malignancy. We identified 703 genes that are highly expressed in HCC using DNA microarrays, and further characterized them in order to uncover novel tumor markers, oncogenes, and therapeutic targets for HCC. Using Gene Ontology annotations, genes with functions related to cell proliferation and cell cycle, chromatin, repair, and transcription were found to be significantly enriched in this list of highly expressed genes. We also identified a set of genes that encode secreted (e.g. GPC3, LCN2, and DKK1) or membrane-bound proteins (e.g. GPC3, IGSF1, and PSK-1), which may be attractive candidates for the diagnosis of HCC. A significant enrichment of genes highly expressed in HCC was found on chromosomes 1q, 6p, 8q, and 20q, and we also identified chromosomal clusters of genes highly expressed in HCC. The microarray analyses were validated by RT-PCR and PCR. This approach of integrating other biological information with gene expression in the analysis helps select aberrantly expressed genes in HCC that may be further studied for their diagnostic or therapeutic utility.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/sj.onc.1208479

    View details for Web of Science ID 000229346300005

    View details for PubMedID 15735714

  • Mutations of PIK3CA in gastric adenocarcinoma BMC CANCER Li, V. S., Wong, C. W., Chan, T. L., Chan, A. S., Zhao, W., Chu, K. M., So, S., Chen, X., Yuen, S. T., Leung, S. Y. 2005; 5


    Activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) through mutational inactivation of PTEN tumour suppressor gene is common in diverse cancer types, but rarely reported in gastric cancer. Recently, mutations in PIK3CA, which encodes the p110alpha catalytic subunit of PI3K, have been identified in various human cancers, including 3 of 12 gastric cancers. Eighty percent of these reported mutations clustered within 2 regions involving the helical and kinase domains. In vitro study on one of the "hot-spot" mutants has demonstrated it as an activating mutation.Based on these data, we initiated PIK3CA mutation screening in 94 human gastric cancers by direct sequencing of the gene regions in which 80% of all the known PIK3CA mutations were found. We also examined PIK3CA expression level by extracting data from the previous large-scale gene expression profiling study. Using Significance Analysis of Microarrays (SAM), we further searched for genes that show correlating expression with PIK3CA.We have identified PIK3CA mutations in 4 cases (4.3%), all involving the previously reported hotspots. Among these 4 cases, 3 tumours demonstrated microsatellite instability and 2 tumours harboured concurrent KRAS mutation. Data extracted from microarray studies showed an increased expression of PIK3CA in gastric cancers when compared with the non-neoplastic gastric mucosae (p < 0.001). SAM further identified 2910 genes whose expression levels were positively associated with that of PIK3CA.Our data suggested that activation of the PI3K signalling pathway in gastric cancer may be achieved through up-regulation or mutation of PIK3CA, in which the latter may be a consequence of mismatch repair deficiency.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/1471-2407-5-29

    View details for Web of Science ID 000228165300001

    View details for PubMedID 15784156

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC1079799

  • Transcript AA454543 is a novel prognostic marker for hepatocellular carcinoma after curative partial hepatectomy NEOPLASIA Cheung, S. T., Ho, J. C., Leung, K. L., Chen, X., Fong, D. Y., So, S., Fan, S. T. 2005; 7 (2): 91-98


    We have previously reported on the cDNA microarray gene expression profiles of hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs). Among the genes that show prognostic significance and are overexpressed in tumor compared with adjacent nontumorous liver, transcript AA454543 may have potential for practical use. Our aim is to validate the prognostic significance of transcript AA454543 by alternative research methods and in a separate group of HCC patients.The data of transcript AA454543 derived from microarray analysis of 48 patients having curative partial hepatectomy (group 1) were verified by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (r = 0.618, P < .001). A separate sample set of HCCs obtained from 53 patients (group 2) was examined and the association of AA454543 expression level with overall survival was again validated (P = .027). By Cox regression analysis, transcript AA454543 [hazard ratio (HR) = 3.0, P = .017] and pathologic tumor node metastasis (pTNM) stage (HR = 3.3, P = .010) were independent prognostic factors for overall survival. The accuracy of prediction for 3-year overall survival for transcript AA454543 (74.2%, P = .001) and pTNM stage (76.4%, P = .001) was comparable as measured by the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve.Transcript AA454543 is potentially useful molecular prognostic marker for overall survival after curative partial hepatectomy for HCC.

    View details for DOI 10.1593/neo.04472

    View details for Web of Science ID 000227413800001

    View details for PubMedID 15810144

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC1501123

  • Claudin-10 expression level is associated with recurrence of primary hepatocellular carcinoma CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH Cheung, S. T., Leung, K. L., Ip, Y. C., Chen, X., FONG, D. Y., Ng, I. O., Fan, S. T., So, S. 2005; 11 (2): 551-556


    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients with the same clinicopathologic features can have remarkably different disease outcomes after curative hepatectomy. To address this issue, we evaluated the cDNA microarray gene expression profiles of HCCs and identified claudin-10 expression level was associated with disease recurrence. The aim of the current study is to validate the microarray data by an alternative research method applicable for routine practice.Quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) was used to validate the microarray data on claudin-10 expression level. The assay was repeated on a separate HCC sample set to consolidate the prognostic significance of claudin-10.Claudin-10 expression level by quantitative RT-PCR and by microarray measurement showed a high concordance (r = 0.602, P < 0.001). Quantitative RT-PCR was repeated on a separate HCC sample set and the association of claudin-10 expression with recurrence was again confirmed (hazard ratio, 1.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.0-1.4; P = 0.011). By multivariable Cox regression analysis, claudin-10 expression and pathologic tumor-node-metastasis stage were independent factors for prediction of disease recurrence.Claudin-10 expression of HCC can be used as a molecular marker for disease recurrence after curative hepatectomy.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000226438000019

    View details for PubMedID 15701840

  • Phase II study of thalidomide in patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma CANCER Lin, A. Y., Brophy, N., Fisher, G. A., So, S., Biggs, C., Yock, T. I., Levitt, L. 2005; 103 (1): 119-125


    The hypervascular nature of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is well characterized. Recent data have suggested that thalidomide possesses antiangiogenic and immunomodulatory activity. Therefore, the authors initiated a study to assess the efficacy and toxicity of thalidomide in patients with advanced HCC as primary and secondary endpoints, respectively.Inclusion criteria were unresectable HCC with bidimentionally measurable disease, age > or = 18 years, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status < or = 2, and adequate organ function. Thalidomide was administered at a starting dose of 200 mg per day in a 100-mg-per-week dose escalation regimen, up to the maximum tolerated dose or to 800 mg per day. Toxicity was monitored according to the National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria.Twenty-six of 27 patients were eligible and assessable for toxicity and response. A median daily dose of 300 mg was achieved. One patient experienced near-complete recovery of alpha-fetoprotein levels and a partial radiographic response on computed tomography. Two patients had stable disease during the 16-week study period. The median duration of progression-free survival was 42 days. The overall median survival was 123 days. Fatigue and somnolence were the most common side effects, occurring in 81% and 62% of patients, respectively. No Grade 4 hematologic toxicity was observed. Three patients experienced Grade 4 hepatic toxicity (namely, hyperbilirubinemia).With gradual dose escalation, thalidomide was tolerated in most patients with advanced HCC. However, treatment with thalidomide alone was associated with only a modest response in the treatment of HCC.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/cncr.20732

    View details for Web of Science ID 000226237000015

    View details for PubMedID 15565573

  • Granulin-epithelin precursor overexpression promotes growth and invasion of hepatocellular carcinoma CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH Cheung, S. T., Wong, S. Y., Leung, K. L., Chen, X., So, S., Ng, I. O., Fan, S. T. 2004; 10 (22): 7629-7636


    Granulin-epithelin precursor (GEP) is a novel growth factor. Our earlier cDNA microarray study indicated that GEP was overexpressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical significance of GEP expression and its potential as a therapeutic target in HCC.A total of 110 pairs of HCCs and adjacent nontumor liver tissues, and 22 normal liver tissues were examined. The GEP RNA level was examined by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR, and protein localization by immunohistochemistry. The GEP function was examined by transfection experiments.The RNA levels of the HCCs were significantly higher than those of the nontumor liver tissues and normal livers (P <0.001). GEP protein staining was observed in tumor cytoplasm, and the GEP protein levels of the HCCs were also significantly higher than those of the nontumor liver tissues and normal livers (P <0.001). The majority of HCCs demonstrated up-regulation of GEP protein compared with their adjacent liver tissues [79 (71.8%) of 110]. Positive correlation of GEP RNA with protein levels was observed in HCCs (P <0.01). Strong GEP expression was associated with large HCCs, venous infiltration, and early intrahepatic recurrence (P <0.05). Functional studies on the HCC cell line Hep3B demonstrated that reduction of GEP protein levels resulted in decreased cell proliferation rates, tumor invasion ability, anchorage-independent growth in soft agar, and tumorigenicity in nude mice (P <0.05).GEP is an important factor for HCC growth, invasion, and metastasis. GEP has the potential to serve as a tumor marker and therapeutic target.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000225351400023

    View details for PubMedID 15569995

  • Novel endothelial cell markers in hepatocellular carcinoma MODERN PATHOLOGY Chen, X., Higgins, J., Cheung, S. T., Li, R., Mason, V., Montgomery, K., Fan, S. T., van de Rijn, M., So, S. 2004; 17 (10): 1198-1210


    Hepatocellular carcinoma is characterized by hypervascularity and a propensity for vascular invasion. Detailed analysis of complementary DNA (cDNA) microarray global gene expression data and further validation on a smaller independent sample set by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction established the presence of two endothelial gene clusters in hepatocellular carcinoma. Cluster I, consists of 20 cDNA clones, representing 15 unique genes. Cluster II consists of nine unique genes. The expression of the cluster I genes appeared to be significantly upregulated in hepatocellular carcinoma compared with normal liver, cirrhotic liver, or nontumor liver tissues adjacent to the hepatocellular carcinoma. The pattern of gene expression of cluster I genes correlated positively with the 'proliferation gene cluster' and 'stromal cells cluster 2'. Expression of cluster II genes, in contrast, was not significantly different between hepatocellular carcinoma and non-neoplastic liver tissues. Studies conducted to localize the protein products of these genes by immunohistochemical staining of tissue arrays with up to 350 cores of tissues, and by in situ hybridization led to the discovery of novel sinusoidal endothelial cell markers in hepatocellular carcinoma: podocalyxin-like and regulator of G protein signaling-5. Our results underscore fundamental differences not only between neoplastic vs non-neoplastic liver cells but also between the hepatic sinusoidal endothelium of hepatocellular carcinoma and normal liver.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/modpathol.3800167

    View details for Web of Science ID 000224094600004

    View details for PubMedID 15154008

  • Prevalence of HBV and risk of HBV acquisition in hepatitis B screening programs in large metropolitan cities in the United States. 55th Annual Meeting of the American-Association-for-the-Study-of-Liver-Diseases (AASLD) Guane, R., Siu, P., Lam, K., Kim, K. E., Warren, V., Liu, H., Chang, M. D., Siu, J., So, S., Greco, B., Louie, J., Zhu, J., Liu, H., Kong, X., Chen, R., Zhou, R., Choy, G. S., Cozzolino, J., Brosgrat, C. L. WILEY-BLACKWELL. 2004: 716A–716A
  • High prevalence of chronic hepatitis B (HBV) infection in adult Chinese Americans living in California. 55th Annual Meeting of the American-Association-for-the-Study-of-Liver-Diseases (AASLD) Chao, S., Le, P. V., Prapong, W., Su, J., So, S. WILEY-BLACKWELL. 2004: 717A–717A
  • Expression profiling identifies chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 18 as an independent prognostic indicator in gastric cancer GASTROENTEROLOGY Leung, S. Y., Yuen, S. T., Chu, K. M., Mathy, J. A., Li, R., Chan, A. S., Law, S., Wong, J., Chen, X., So, S. 2004; 127 (2): 457-469


    Gastric cancer is one of the major cancers worldwide. Expression profiling has proven useful in delineating novel prognostic markers in various cancer types. We previously analyzed gene-expression patterns in 90 gastric adenocarcinomas by using complementary DNA microarrays and prioritized a list of genes whose expression levels predict patient outcome.We identified a specific gene of interest, chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 18 (CCL18), on the basis of a high absolute standardized log Cox hazard ratio, a high variance in expression among all tumor samples, and putative biologic function. Detailed analysis of CCL18 expression with clinicopathologic and survival data was performed (n = 89). Quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction was used to verify the microarray expression data and was further applied to analyze an independent cohort of tumor samples (n = 59). The cellular source of CCL18 was determined with immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization.High CCL18 expression levels were associated with prolonged overall (P = 0.001; hazard ratio, 0.586) and disease-free (P = 0.002; hazard ratio, 0.416) patient survival in the array-based data set by univariate analysis. The observations were confirmed in an independent set of 59 patients by using quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. In multivariate analysis, tumor stage and CCL18 levels were independent prognostic factors for predicting both overall and disease-free survival. We found that CCL18 was expressed by a subpopulation of tumor-associated macrophages that were preferentially located at the tumor invasion front.Macrophage-derived CCL18 may function as a local antitumor immunomodulator that affects patient outcome. Our study suggests CCL18 as a novel candidate for antitumor therapeutics and risk stratification in gastric cancer patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1053/S0016-5085(04)00923-0

    View details for Web of Science ID 000223431200017

    View details for PubMedID 15300578

  • One hundred percent patient and kidney allograft survival with simultaneous liver and kidney transplantation in infants with primary hyperoxaluria: A single-center experience TRANSPLANTATION Millan, M. T., Berquist, W. E., So, S. K., Sarwal, M. M., Wayman, K. I., Cox, K. L., Filler, G., Salvatierra, O., Esquivel, C. O. 2003; 76 (10): 1458-1463


    Combined liver-kidney transplantation is the definitive treatment for end-stage renal disease caused by primary hyperoxaluria type I (PH1). The infantile form is characterized by renal failure early in life, advanced systemic oxalosis, and a formidable mortality rate. Although others have reported on overall results of transplantation for PH1 covering a wide age spectrum, none has specifically addressed the high-risk infantile form of the disease.Six infants with PH1 underwent simultaneous liver-kidney transplantation at our center between May 1994 and August 1998. Diagnosis was made at 5.2+/-3.3 months of age, they were on dialysis for 11.8+/-2.3 months, and they underwent transplantation at 14.8+/-3.0 months of age when they weighed 10.6+/-1.7 kg.At a mean follow-up of 6.4+/-1.7 years (range, 3.9-8.1 years), we report 100% patient and kidney allograft survival. There were no cases of acute tubular necrosis. Long-term kidney allograft function remained stable in all patients, with serum creatinine values of less than 1.1 mg/dL and a mean creatinine clearance of 99 mL/min/1.73 m2 at follow-up. Those who received combined hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis pretransplant had lower posttransplant urinary oxalate values than those receiving peritoneal dialysis alone. There was improvement in growth and psychomotor and mental developmental scores after transplantation.Combined liver-kidney transplantation for the infantile presentation of PH1 is associated with excellent outcome when the approach includes early diagnosis and early combined transplantation, aggressive pretransplant dialysis, and avoidance of posttransplant renal dysfunction.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/01.TP.0000084203.76110.AC

    View details for Web of Science ID 000186833400014

    View details for PubMedID 14657686

  • Downregulation of ID4 by promoter hypermethylation in gastric adenocarcinoma ONCOGENE Chan, A. S., Tsui, W. Y., Chen, X., Chu, K. M., Chan, T. L., Chan, A. S., Li, R., So, S., Yuen, S. T., Leung, S. Y. 2003; 22 (44): 6946-6953


    Promoter hypermethylation has become apparent as a common mechanism of gene silencing in cancer. Based on our published microarray expression data, we noticed a prominent downregulation of ID4 in gastric adenocarcinoma. The dense 5' CpG island covering the previously mapped upstream promoter of ID4 has prompted us to relate its downregulation to promoter hypermethylation. ID proteins are distinct members in the helix-loop-helix family of transcriptional regulators, which modulate various key developmental processes. Emerging data have suggested the involvement of ID genes in tumorigenesis. In this study using bisulfite genomic sequencing, we have found hypermethylation of ID4 promoter in most gastric cancer cell lines and 30% of primary tumors. This correlated with decreased level of ID4 expression. Restoration of ID4 expression in various gastric cancer cell lines was achieved by treatment with the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, which at times required the synergistic action of the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A, but not with trichostatin A alone. Re-expression was accompanied by the corresponding ID4 promoter demethylation. Furthermore, we have found significant association of ID4 promoter methylation with hMLH1 promoter methylation (P=0.008) and microsatellite instability (P=0.006). Overall, our results have shown that transcriptional silencing of ID4 is related to the aberrant methylation of its promoter in gastric cancer. The significant association of ID4 and hMLH1 promoter hypermethylation suggested that ID4 may also be among the genes being targeted in the CpG island methylator phenotype tumorigenic pathway.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/sj.onc.1206799

    View details for Web of Science ID 000185843400017

    View details for PubMedID 14534543

  • Variation in gene expression patterns in human gastric cancers MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE CELL Chen, X., Leung, S. Y., Yuen, S. T., Chu, K. M., Ji, J. F., Li, R., Chan, A. S., Law, S., Troyanskaya, O. G., Wong, J., So, S., Botstein, D., Brown, P. O. 2003; 14 (8): 3208-3215


    Gastric cancer is the world's second most common cause of cancer death. We analyzed gene expression patterns in 90 primary gastric cancers, 14 metastatic gastric cancers, and 22 nonneoplastic gastric tissues, using cDNA microarrays representing approximately 30,300 genes. Gastric cancers were distinguished from nonneoplastic gastric tissues by characteristic differences in their gene expression patterns. We found a diversity of gene expression patterns in gastric cancer, reflecting variation in intrinsic properties of tumor and normal cells and variation in the cellular composition of these complex tissues. We identified several genes whose expression levels were significantly correlated with patient survival. The variations in gene expression patterns among cancers in different patients suggest differences in pathogenetic pathways and potential therapeutic strategies.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000184877400012

    View details for PubMedID 12925757

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC181561

  • Phospholipase A2 group IIA expression in gastric adenocarcinoma is associated with prolonged survival and less frequent metastasis PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Leung, S. Y., Chen, X., Chu, K. M., Yuen, S. T., Mathy, J., Ji, J. F., Chan, A. S., Li, R., Law, S., Troyanskaya, O. G., Tu, I. P., Wong, J., So, S., Botstein, D., Brown, P. O. 2002; 99 (25): 16203-16208


    We analyzed gene expression patterns in human gastric cancers by using cDNA microarrays representing approximately equal 30,300 genes. Expression of PLA2G2A, a gene previously implicated as a modifier of the Apc(Min/+) (multiple intestinal neoplasia 1) mutant phenotype in the mouse, was significantly correlated with patient survival. We confirmed this observation in an independent set of patient samples by using quantitative RT-PCR. Beyond its potential diagnostic and prognostic significance, this result suggests the intriguing possibility that the activity of PLA2G2A may suppress progression or metastasis of human gastric cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.212646299

    View details for Web of Science ID 000179783400069

    View details for PubMedID 12456890

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC138589

  • Comprehensive analysis of the gene expression profiles in human gastric cancer cell lines ONCOGENE Ji, J. F., Chen, X., Leung, S. Y., Chi, J. T., Chu, K. M., Yuen, S. T., Li, R., Chan, A. S., Li, J. Y., Dunphy, N., So, S. 2002; 21 (42): 6549-6556


    Gastric adenocarcinoma is one of the major malignancies worldwide. Gastric cell lines have been widely used as the model to study the genetics, pharmacology and biochemistry of gastric cancers. Here we describe a comprehensive survey of the gene expression profiles of 12 gastric carcinoma cell lines, using cDNA microarray with 43 000 clones. For comparison, we also explored the gene expression patterns of 15 cell lines derived from lymphoid, endothelial, stromal and other epithelial cancers. Expression levels of specific genes were validated through comparison to protein expression by immunohistochemistry using cell block arrays. We found sets of genes whose expression corresponds to the molecular signature of each cell type. In the gastric cancer cell lines, apart from genes that are highly expressed corresponding to their common epithelial origin from the gastrointestinal tract, we found marked heterogeneity among the gene expression patterns of these cell lines. Some of the heterogeneity may reflect their underlying molecular characteristics or specific differentiation program. Two putative gastric carcinoma cell lines were found to be B-cell lymphoma, and another one had no epithelial specific gene expression and hence was of doubtful epithelial origin. These cell lines should no longer be used in gastric carcinoma research. In conclusion, our gene expression database can serve as a powerful resource for the study of gastric cancer using these cell lines.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/sj.onc.1205829

    View details for Web of Science ID 000177925300015

    View details for PubMedID 12226758

  • Treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma with sub-selective transcatheter arterial oily chemoinfusion. Techniques in vascular and interventional radiology Kim, P., Prapong, W., Sze, D. Y., So, S. K., Razavi, M. K. 2002; 5 (3): 127-131


    Transarterial therapy for primary liver cancer is gaining more acceptance. The technique of transarterial treatment of such cancers is, however, quite varied. To determine the value of our approach, we analyzed our experience with transarterial oily chemoinfusion (TOCI) of primary liver cancer over a 4.9-year period. Since 1997, over 300 such procedures have been performed at our institution. We report the results of the first 253 procedures, which were performed using a subsegmental technique with a mixture of doxorubicin, cisplatin, ethiodol, with selective Gelfoam embolization. Actuarial survival rates at 1, 2, and 3 years were calculated with Kaplan-Meier and multivariate analysis was performed by Cox regression. The median overall survival was 28.6 +/- 4.5 months following diagnosis. By univariate analysis, TNM clinical stage I or II, Karnofsky score above 80%, absence of extrahepatic disease, absence of vascular invasion, unifocal disease, pretreatment alpha-fetoprotein levels less than 500 ng/ml, hypervascularity of lesions, and lesion size less than 5 cm were all strong predictors of favorable patient survival at 1, 2, and 3 years (75%, 60%, and 50% respectively). Based on our experience, TOCI with selective embolization has similar survival benefit as the traditional chemoembolization but is associated with fewer complications.

    View details for PubMedID 12524643

  • Identify metastasis-associated genes in hepatocellular carcinoma through clonality delineation for multinodular tumor CANCER RESEARCH Cheung, S. T., Chen, X., GUAN, X. Y., Wong, S. Y., Tai, L. S., Ng, I. O., So, S., Fan, S. T. 2002; 62 (16): 4711-4721


    Disease recurrence and metastasis are frequently observed in many successfullytreated localized cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma in which intrahepatic and extrahepatic recurrence (metastasis) are frequently observed after curative resection. The present study aimed at identifying metastasis-associated genes through delineation of the clonality for multinodular liver cancer. The clonal relationship of 22 tumor foci from six patients was investigated by the genome-wide expression profile via cDNA microarray consisting of 23,000 genes. Tumor molecular properties including p53 protein overexpression and gene mutation, hepatitis B virus integration pattern, and genetic alteration examined by comparative genomic hybridization were compared. Results indicated that gene expression patterns could serve as the molecular fingerprint for clonality identification. Together with the molecular data from p53, hepatitis B virus integration and comparative genomic hybridization profiles, tumor nodules from five patients were confirmed with clonal relationship, and the expression profiles of the primary nodules were compared with their corresponding intrahepatic metastatic nodules. A total of 90 clones were found to be correlated with intrahepatic metastasis by Student's t test (P < 0.05). With reference to the primary tumor, 63 clones (39 known genes and 24 express sequence tags) were down-regulated whereas 27 clones (14 known genes and 13 express sequence tags) were up-regulated in the metastatic nodules. These metastasis-associated genes may provide clues to reveal patients with increased risk of developing metastasis, and to identify novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of metastasis.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000177496600031

    View details for PubMedID 12183430

  • Gene expression patterns in human liver cancers MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE CELL Chen, X., Cheung, S. T., So, S., Fan, S. T., Barry, C., Higgins, J., Lai, K. M., Ji, J. F., Dudoit, S., Ng, I. O., van de Rijn, M., Botstein, D., Brown, P. O. 2002; 13 (6): 1929-1939


    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a leading cause of death worldwide. Using cDNA microarrays to characterize patterns of gene expression in HCC, we found consistent differences between the expression patterns in HCC compared with those seen in nontumor liver tissues. The expression patterns in HCC were also readily distinguished from those associated with tumors metastatic to liver. The global gene expression patterns intrinsic to each tumor were sufficiently distinctive that multiple tumor nodules from the same patient could usually be recognized and distinguished from all the others in the large sample set on the basis of their gene expression patterns alone. The distinctive gene expression patterns are characteristic of the tumors and not the patient; the expression programs seen in clonally independent tumor nodules in the same patient were no more similar than those in tumors from different patients. Moreover, clonally related tumor masses that showed distinct expression profiles were also distinguished by genotypic differences. Some features of the gene expression patterns were associated with specific phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of the tumors, including growth rate, vascular invasion, and p53 overexpression.

    View details for DOI 10.1091/mbc.02-02-0023

    View details for Web of Science ID 000176418800012

    View details for PubMedID 12058060

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC117615

  • Epstein-Barr virus infection is associated with endothelial bcl-2 expression in transplant liver allografts TRANSPLANTATION Millan, M. T., Natkunam, Y., Clarke-Katzenberg, R., Desai, D., Prapong, W., So, S. K., Esquivel, C. O., Sibley, R., Ferran, C., Martinez, O. M. 2002; 73 (3): 465-469


    In liver transplant recipients with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) disease, we reported a low rate of acute rejection after stopping or markedly lowering immunosuppression. This observation led to the hypothesis that EBV, as a means of viral persistence, induces expression of antiapoptotic factors and these factors, in turn, confer protection to the transplanted organ. Bcl-2, an antiapoptotic factor induced by EBV in various host cells, is not normally expressed in the liver. We questioned whether bcl-2 is expressed in the transplanted liver and whether its expression is modified by EBV.Retrospective liver biopsy specimen from liver transplant patients diagnosed with EBV (n=12) were examined for the presence of bcl-2 by immunohistochemistry and compared with EBV (-) transplant (n=15), and nontransplant (n=13) livers.The most significant finding was the presence of endothelial bcl-2 expression in the majority of EBV (+) transplant samples examined (67%) and its relative absence in the other two groups (P<0.005). There was also bcl-2 expression in the hepatocytes and lymphocytes of the majority of transplant liver samples, irrespective of EBV status.We have identified a strong association between EBV infection and endothelial bcl-2 expression in transplant livers. We also found that transplantation, in itself, was associated with bcl-2 expression in the hepatocytes and lymphocytes of liver allografts.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000174115400023

    View details for PubMedID 11884946

  • Impact of multidetector CT hepatic arteriography on the planning of chemoembolization treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma AMERICAN JOURNAL OF ROENTGENOLOGY Sze, D. Y., Razavi, M. K., So, S. K., Jeffrey, R. B. 2001; 177 (6): 1339-1345


    We examined the impact of the increased sensitivity for hypervascular masses of multidetector CT hepatic arteriography on treatment decisions involving selective chemoembolization of hepatocellular carcinomas.Thirty patients were referred for chemoembolization of unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma. Initial selective chemoembolization plans were formulated on the basis of diagnostic biphasic CT or MR imaging. Ultrafast CT hepatic arteriography was performed using a multidetector CT scanner and selective contrast material injection into the hepatic artery. The entire liver was scanned in a single breath-hold of approximately 20 sec with a slice thickness of 1 mm. Lesions and their arterial supplies were identified, and these data were immediately used to formulate a final plan for chemoembolization.Hypervascular masses were detected in 29 patients. In 16 (53%) of the patients, preprocedural CT or MR imaging underestimated the number of lesions. In nine (30%) of these 16 patients, the additional lesions were detected only on CT hepatic arteriography, not on conventional angiography. CT hepatic arteriography findings had a major impact on planning the way in which chemoembolization treatment was performed. In three of the nine patients, the previously undetected lesions were treated with additional superselective chemoembolization. In the other six patients, chemoembolization was performed less selectively than originally planned.Primarily because of the high sensitivity of multidetector CT hepatic arteriography in revealing small and multifocal hepatomas, findings of this modality frequently alter treatment plans involving selective administration of chemoembolic material.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000172326800019

    View details for PubMedID 11717079

  • Identification of diagnostic markers/candidate therapeutic targets for liver cancer using cDNA microarray. Cheung, S. T., Chen, Fan, S. T., So, S., Ng, I. O., Brown, P. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2001: 3691S
  • Studies of Pediatric Liver Transplantation (SPLIT): Year 2000 outcomes TRANSPLANTATION Kane, R., Solomon, H., Friedman, B., Heffron, T., DePaolo, J., Sokol, R. J., Karrer, F., Narkewicz, M. R., Orban-Eller, K., Maller, E. S., Higuchi, N., Mazariegos, G., Smith, A., Atkison, P., Bucuvalas, J., Balistreri, W. F., Ryckman, F., Klekamp, C., Roden, J., D'Amico, L., Alonso, E. M., Superina, R., Whitington, P. F., Mladucky, P., Lokar, J., Andrews, W. S., Daniel, J., Fioravante, V., Lindblad, A. S., Anand, R., Brown, D., Inman, P., Covington, L., Brock, K., Mekki, Q., Fecteau, A., DeLuca, E., Scheimann, A., Colombani, P., Alford, M. K., Wise, B., Shokouh-Amiri, H., Grewal, H. P., Powell, S. L., Freese, D. K., Greseth, J., Fisher, R., Akyeampong, M., Behnke, M., Baliga, P., Johnson, T., Emre, S., Shneider, B., Novak, R., Alvarez, F., Martin, S., Viau, C., Shepherd, R., Nadler, M., Cox, K., So, S., Bush, L., Goss, J. A., Karpen, S., Doster, S., McDiarmid, S., Phillips, H., Smith, L. J., Jones, A. B., Kneteman, N., Lavine, J., Hall, K., Rosenthal, P., Stritzel, S., Millis, J. M., Kelly, S., Gonzalez-Peralta, R. P., Langham, M., Mackay, E., Tzakis, A. G., Romero, R., Miller, B., Weppler, D., Bunchman, T., Holmes, R., Shieck, V., Horslen, S., Shaw, B. W., Andersen, D., Lichtman, S., Kassmann, B., Mieles, L., Quiros, R., Irish-Feltner, J., Kalayoglu, M., D'Alessandro, A., Knechtle, S., Spaith, E. 2001; 72 (3): 463-476


    Initiated in 1995, the Studies of Pediatric Liver Transplantation (SPLIT) registry database is a cooperative research network of pediatric transplantation centers in the United States and Canada. The primary objectives are to characterize and follow trends in transplant indications, transplantation techniques, and outcomes (e.g., patient/graft survival, rejection, growth parameters, and immunosuppressive therapy.)As of June 15, 2000, 29 centers registered 1144 patients, 640 of whom received their first liver-only transplant while registered in SPLIT. Patients are followed every 6 months for 2 years and yearly thereafter. Data are submitted to a central coordinating center.One/two-year patient survival and graft loss estimates are 0.85/0.82 and 0.77/0.72, respectively. Risk factors for death include: in ICU at transplant (relative risk (RR)=2.63, P<0.05) and height/weight deficits of two or more standard deviations (RR=1.67, P<0.05). Risk factors for graft loss include: in ICU at transplant (RR=1.77, P<0.05) and receiving a cadaveric split organ compared with a whole organ (RR=2.3, P<0.05). The percentage of patients diagnosed with hepatic a. and portal v. thrombosis were 9.7% and 7%, respectively; 15% had biliary complications within 30 days. At least one re-operation was required in 45%. One/two-year rejection probability estimates are 0.60/0.66. Tacrolimus, as primary therapy posttransplant, reduces first rejection risk (RR=0.70, P<0.05). Eighty-nine percent of school-aged children are in school full-time, 18 months posttransplant.This report provides one of the first descriptions of characteristics and clinical courses of a multicenter pediatric transplant population. Observations are subject to patient selection biases but are useful for generating hypothesis for future studies.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000170587000018

    View details for PubMedID 11502977

  • CMV and EBV-PTLD after liver transplantation 18th World Congress of the Transplantation-Society So, S. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 2001: 1317–19

    View details for Web of Science ID 000167629900612

    View details for PubMedID 11267305

  • Center experience in liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma associated with cirrhosis 18th World Congress of the Transplantation-Society Lai, K. M., MILLAN, M., Razavi, M., Keeffe, E. B., Prapong, W., Fisher, G. A., Esquivel, C. O., So, S. K. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 2001: 1490–91

    View details for Web of Science ID 000167629900694

    View details for PubMedID 11267387

  • Quantifiable real-time 3D ultrasound data acquisition and visualization CARS 2001: COMPUTER ASSISTED RADIOLOGY AND SURGERY Welch, J. N., Johnson, J., Badr, R., Bax, M., So, S., Krummel, T., Shahidi, R. 2001; 1230: 1155-1155
  • Real-time freehand 3D ultrasound system for clinical applications Welch, J. N., Johnson, J. A., Bax, M. R., Badr, R., So, S., Krummel, T., Shahidi, R., Mun, S. K. SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING. 2001: 724–30

    View details for DOI 10.1117/12.428120

    View details for Web of Science ID 000171468900083

  • Genome-wide study of human hepatocellular carcinoma with 23K cDNA microarray. Chen, X., Cheung, S., Barry, C., Fan, S., Lai, K. M., Ji, J. F., Praprong, W., Botstein, D., Brown, P. O., So, S. WILEY-BLACKWELL. 2000: 324A–324A
  • A 100% 2-year graft survival can be attained in high-risk 15-kg or smaller infant recipients of kidney allografts 71st Annual Session of the Pacific-Coast-Surgical-Association Millan, M. T., Sarwal, M. M., Lemley, K. V., Yorgin, P., Orlandi, P., So, S., Alexander, S., Salvatierra, O. AMER MEDICAL ASSOC. 2000: 1063–68


    Infants make up the most high-risk, difficult to care for subgroup undergoing kidney transplantation, with the lowest 1- and 2-year graft survival rates of any other age group. The principal causes of graft loss have been graft thrombosis, primary nonfunction, technical error, and irreversible acute rejection.Infants undergoing kidney transplantation can achieve near 100% graft survival at 2 years following surgery, despite their very high-risk status.Analysis of 45 consecutive kidney transplants performed in patients weighing less than or equal to 15 kg during an 8-year period beginning August 1991. Patients included complex referrals from throughout the United States and all received transplants and were cared for by the same pediatric kidney transplantation team.Mean weight at transplantation was 11. 2 kg. Renal failure was due to congenital or urologic causes in the majority (53%) of cases. Size-discrepant adult-sized kidney grafts were transplanted in 80% of patients; 64% received live-donor grafts; 78% were receiving dialysis prior to transplantation; and 27% had extremely small bladders (<20 cm(3)) requiring modification of the ureteral implantation. Excluding 1 transplant-unrelated death, graft and patient survival at 2 years was 100%. Eight-year patient and graft survival rates (for our combined live and cadaver donor series) were 89.6% and 84.6%, respectively. This compares favorably with much lower graft survival in low-risk adult recipients. Delayed graft function occurred in only 1 patient (2%). Rate of incidence of rejection was 9.3% within 2 years of transplantation and the overall rejection rate was 15.5%. No graft was lost to vascular thrombosis, primary nonfunction, technical error, or acute rejection. The mean creatinine level was 53.04 micromol/L (0.6 mg/dL) and 61.9 micromol/L (0.7 mg/dL) at 1 and 2 years, respectively, and 88.4 micromol/L (1.0 mg/dL) at 3, 4, and 5 years after transplantation.One hundred percent 2-year and excellent 8-year graft survival rates can be achieved in what has historically been the highest-risk and most difficult to care for patient subgroup undergoing kidney transplantation.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000089222400017

    View details for PubMedID 10982511

  • Liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma and the role of preoperative chemoembolization. Millan, M. T., Lai, K. M., Keeffe, E. B., Fisher, G. A., Razavi, M. K., Prapong, W., Barry, C. T., Esquivel, C. O., So, S. K. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2000: S215–S215
  • Intravenous ribavirin therapy for adenovirus pneumonia PEDIATRIC PULMONOLOGY Shetty, A. K., Gans, H. A., So, S., Millan, M. T., Arvin, A. M., Gutierrez, K. M. 2000; 29 (1): 69-73


    We report on the effectiveness of intravenous ribavirin for severe adenoviral pneumonia in a 10-month-old male following orthotopic liver transplantation. On day 20 post-transplantation, he developed high fever, marked respiratory compromise, and hypoxemia. The chest radiograph showed bilateral pulmonary infiltrates. Samples of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid grew adenovirus, serotype 1. Marked clinical and radiological improvement was noted after intravenous ribavirin therapy. A prospective clinical trial is needed to determine the efficacy of ribavirin therapy for severe adenovirus disease.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000084587800011

    View details for PubMedID 10613789

  • Significance of detecting Epstein-Barr-Specific sequences in the peripheral blood of asymptomatic pediatric liver transplant recipients 3rd International Congress on Pediatric Transplantation Krieger, N. R., Martinez, O. M., Krams, S. M., Cox, K., So, S., Esquivel, C. O. JOHN WILEY & SONS INC. 2000: 62–66


    Pediatric allograft recipients are at increased risk for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated illnesses. The early identification and diagnosis of EBV-associated disorders is critical because disease progression can often be curtailed by modification of immunosuppression. We have previously shown that detection of EBV-specific sequences in the circulation by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) correlated well with the clinical symptoms of EBV infection. The purpose of the current study is to determine the significance of detecting EBV-specific sequences by PCR in asymptomatic pediatric liver transplant recipients. Peripheral-blood DNA was analyzed for the EBV genes, coding from the nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA-1) and the viral capsid antigen (gp220) by PCR. Samples from asymptomatic pediatric liver transplant recipients were analyzed from the immediate postoperative period and at 2- to 4-month intervals thereafter. We followed up 13 of these asymptomatic recipients who tested positive for EBV compared with 7 asymptomatic recipients who tested negative for EBV during the early posttransplantation period. Follow-up ranged from 1.5 to 4 years posttransplantation. Nine patients (69%) initially positive for EBV and asymptomatic ultimately developed symptoms of EBV infection, including fever, lymphadenopathy, rash, respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms, and/or hepatitis. Five of these patients (56%) went on to develop posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder based on histological examination of biopsied tissue and immunohistochemical identification of the EBV antigen/DNA in tissue. This is the first report suggesting that detection of EBV-specific sequences in the absence of symptoms may herald impending EBV-associated disorders. Thus, routine monitoring for circulating EBV sequences in asymptomatic recipients may be useful in the early identification of those at risk for developing EBV-associated disease and its ultimate prevention.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000085673100008

    View details for PubMedID 10648579

  • CD81 gene expression is lost in hepatocellular carcinoma. Drazan, K. E., Higgins, J., Fisher, G. A., Keefe, E., Barry, C. T., So, S. S., Wieczorek, A., Keeffe, E., Levy, S., Esquivel, C. O. WILEY-BLACKWELL. 1999: 248A–248A
  • Resection versus transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma 1st University-of-California-San-Francisco/Stanford Asia Liver Symposium Esquivel, C. O., Keeffe, E. B., Garcia, G., Imperial, J. C., Millan, M. T., Monge, H., So, S. K. WILEY-BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, INC. 1999: S37–S41


    Hepatocellular carcinoma is responsible for more than 1 million deaths per year worldwide and thus remains a challenging medical problem. It causes few or no symptoms and the tumour frequently reaches an enormous size by the time of diagnosis in countries where screening is seldom used. It is generally resistant to commercially available anti-neoplastic agents and radiation therapy. The principal treatment continues to be resection, either partial or complete, with liver transplantation. However, less than one-third of patients are surgical candidates for either resection or transplantation at the time of clinical presentation. This review will address the results observed following resection or transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000081033600009

    View details for PubMedID 10382637

  • Proceedings of the First University of California, San Francisco-Stanford University Asia Liver Symposium - Introduction JOURNAL OF GASTROENTEROLOGY AND HEPATOLOGY So, S., Keeffe, E. B. 1999; 14: U1
  • Major hepatic resection without blood transfusion: Experience with total vascular exclusion 1st University-of-California-San-Francisco/Stanford Asia Liver Symposium So, S. K., Monge, H., Esquivel, C. O. WILEY-BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, INC. 1999: S28–S31


    Thirty consecutive, major liver resections performed with total vascular exclusion in both non-cirrhotic and cirrhotic patients were analysed retrospectively. The patients' ages ranged from 6 months to 80 years. Ten were Asians and five had cirrhosis associated with chronic hepatitis B or C. There was no perioperative death and the mean hospital stay was 6 days for adults and 9.2 days for children. The average vascular exclusion or warm ischaemia time was 25 min (range 10-55 min) and the average intraoperative blood volume given was 275 mL (range 0-3000 mL) packed red blood cells. Sixty per cent required no intraoperative blood transfusion. The mean total bilirubin and aspartate aminotransferase were 1.0 mg/dL (range 0.3-2.3 mg/dL) and 84 IU/L (range 14-306 IU/L) when measured prior to discharge at postoperative day 4-7. In our experience, total vascular exclusion is invaluable in major or difficult liver resections, especially lesions adjacent to the hepatic veins and vena cava. It is associated with a low blood transfusion requirement and a low incidence of complications. It further obviates the need for dissection of the porta hepatis and its associated risks. Total vascular exclusion time of 30 min appears to be well tolerated, even in patients with compensated cirrhosis.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000081033600007

    View details for PubMedID 10382635

  • Genomic analysis of human hepatocellular carcinoma gene expression using cDNA microarrays. Barry, C. T., MILLAN, M., Monge, H., Esquivel, C., BROWN, P., So, S. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 1999: S142–S142
  • Long-term outcomes in pediatric liver recipients: comparison between cyclosporin A and tacrolimus. Pediatric transplantation Cao, S., Cox, K. L., Berquist, W., Hayashi, M., Concepcion, W., Hammes, G. B., Ojogho, O. K., So, S. K., Frerker, M., Castillo, R. O., Monge, H., Esquivel, C. O. 1999; 3 (1): 22-26


    In recent years, tacrolimus (FK506, TAC) has been increasingly utilized in liver transplantation. However, long-term risks and benefits as compared with conventional cyclosporin A (CsA) have not been fully elucidated. This retrospective study examined the potential outcome differences between TAC- and CsA-based immunosuppressive therapy in pediatric liver transplant recipients. From March 1988 to December 1996, 218 children (aged 0.1-17 yr) underwent 238 orthotopic liver transplantations; 58.7% (128/218) were under 2 yr of age at time of transplant. Initially, the maintenance immunosuppressive regimen consisted of CsA and prednisone, with antilymphocytic preparations (MALG, ATGAM, and OKT3) as induction therapy. Subsequently, TAC was used first as rescue therapy for steroid refractory rejection in CsA patients and then as maintenance immunosuppression. Fifty-seven out of the 147 CsA patients were converted to TAC for various reasons while 71 patients were placed on TAC as primary maintenance immunosuppression. 62.6 per cent (92/147) of liver recipients on CsA experienced at least one biopsy-proven acute rejection episode as compared to 50.7% (36/71) for TAC patients (p = 0.09); likewise, 34% (50/147) of CsA patients had more than one episode of rejection vs. 18.3% (13/71) for patients on TAC (p < 0.02). Rejection was the reason for conversion from CsA to TAC in 29 of 57 patients. Conversely, 19.0% (28/147) of CsA patients had to be switched to TAC for reasons not related to rejection (i.e. side-effects). The overall incidence of histologically proven chronic rejection was 7.8% (17/218). 10.9 per cent (16/147) of the children who were on CsA initially developed chronic rejection, which was significantly higher compared with one of 71 TAC recipients (p < 0.02). Of these 16 CsA patients with chronic rejection, 50.0% (8/16) underwent retransplantation for graft failure (mean interval from time of diagnosis of chronic rejection to re-transplant, 4.0 months; range 1-8 months), whereas the TAC patient has remained clinically stable with normal liver function tests after 23 months of follow-up. One year after liver transplantation, 72.8% (107/147) of CsA patients were still on steroids (mean dosage 0.20 mg/kg/d), as compared to 42.3% (30/71) of the TAC patients (mean dosage 0.14 mg/kg/d). The incidence of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) in Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-infected patients was 2.2% (2/90), 7.0% (5/71) and 12.3% (7/57) for CsA, primary and TAC-converted groups, respectively. The overall incidence of PTLD was 6.9% (15/218). In summary, pediatric liver transplant recipients treated with TAC as primary maintenance immunosuppressive medication experienced significantly fewer episodes of rejection; especially chronic rejection, which lead to graft loss. However, the trade-off is a potential increased incidence of EBV-related PTLD in these patients.

    View details for PubMedID 10359027

  • Effect of intraoperative blood transfusion on patient outcome in hepatic transplantation ARCHIVES OF SURGERY Cacciarelli, T. V., Keeffe, E. B., Moore, D. H., BURNS, W., Busque, S., Concepcion, W., So, S. K., Esquivel, C. O. 1999; 134 (1): 25-29


    To evaluate the effect of intraoperative transfusion of red blood cells (RBCs) on patient and graft survival.A retrospective study.A tertiary care referral center.Between January 1, 1992, and December 31, 1994, medical records from 225 adult patients who underwent primary liver transplantations were analyzed.Overall patient survival was 90% at 1 year and 86% at 3 years, while graft survival was 89% at 1 year and 85% at 3 years. The following factors were associated with patient and graft survival: age, sex, medical condition at the time of transplantation, and intraoperative transfusion of RBCs. When these factors were subjected to a multivariate analysis, all were independently associated with survival. Fifty-four recipients (24%) underwent transplantation without intraoperative transfusion of RBCs, while 171 recipients (76%) received at least 1 U of RBCs intraoperatively. Recipients who did not receive transfusion of RBCs had higher patient and graft survival rates than patients who did receive RBCs. By multivariate analysis, transplantation without intraoperative transfusion of RBCs no longer remained statistically significant, and only sex and the patient's medical condition were independently associated with patient and graft survival. Patient and graft survival decreased if 5 or more U were transfused, but transfusion of 5 or more U was not independently associated with survival by multivariate analysis.Increased transfusion requirement for RBCs was independently associated with patient and graft survival. While transplantation without transfusion of intraoperative RBCs was associated with superior patient and graft survival, these effects were overridden by patient sex and medical condition at the time of transplantation.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000078053500006

    View details for PubMedID 9927126

  • Increased dosage requirement and rejection after neoral conversion in pediatric liver transplant patients TRANSPLANTATION PROCEEDINGS Cao, S., Cox, K. L., Berquist, W., So, S., Concepcion, W., Monge, H., Esquivel, C. O. 1998; 30 (8): 4322-4324

    View details for Web of Science ID 000077593000129

    View details for PubMedID 9865373

  • Posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorders and gastrointestinal manifestations of Epstein-Barr virus infection in children following liver transplantation TRANSPLANTATION Cao, S., Cox, K., Esquivel, C. O., Berquist, W., Concepcion, W., Ojogho, O., Monge, H., Krams, S., Martinez, O., So, S. 1998; 66 (7): 851-856


    Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection is common after liver transplantation in children and is associated with the risk of posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLD).This retrospective study examined the frequency of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and the risk of PTLD in pediatric liver recipients who developed symptomatic EBV infection. We reviewed 172 children who received orthotopic liver transplants between March 1988 to December 1994. Twenty-two cases were retransplants. The mean age at transplantation was 3.7 years (range, 0.1-17 years). The immunosuppressive regimens consisted of induction therapy with Minnesota antilymphocyte globulin/antithymocyte globulin/OKT3 in most cases and maintenance therapy with prednisone and either cyclosporine or tacrolimus (FK506).After 1 year of minimum follow-up, 54 of 172 patients had symptomatic EBV infections (confirmed by serology, histology, or whole blood polymerase chain reaction. At the time of infection, 38.5% (21/54) had either diarrhea or GI bleeding or both. PTLD developed in 11 patients (6.4%). The incidence of PTLD was 42.9% (9/21) when GI bleeding or diarrhea was associated with EBV infections, compared with 6.1% (2/33) when EBV infection was not associated with GI symptoms. Seven of 10 (70%) patients with GI bleeding and 2 of 11 (18.2%) with diarrhea developed PTLD. Of seven patients examined by endoscopy for GI bleeding, two had biopsy-proven PTLD of the GI tract, whereas one of two patients examined by endoscopy for diarrhea had biopsy-proven PTLD.In summary, a high incidence of PTLD was found in patients who developed GI bleeding or diarrhea associated with EBV infection after pediatric liver transplantation. In these patients, endoscopy and biopsy may lead to early diagnosis of PTLD.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000076585400007

    View details for PubMedID 9798693

  • Minimal criteria for placement of adults on the liver transplant waiting list: a report of a national conference organized by the American Society of Transplant Physicians and the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. Transplantation Lucey, M. R., Brown, K. A., Everson, G. T., Fung, J. J., Gish, R., Keefe, E. B., Kneteman, N. M., Lake, J. R., Martin, P., Rakela, J., Shiffman, M. L., So, S., Wiesner, R. H. 1998; 66 (7): 956-962

    View details for PubMedID 9798717

  • Combined viral prophylactic and immunosuppressive strategy in liver transplantation (OLT) for HBV cirrhosis So, S. K., Esquivel, C. O., Imperial, J. C., Garcia, G., Keeffe, E. B. WILEY-BLACKWELL. 1998: 346A–346A
  • Liver transplantation in the first three months of life TRANSPLANTATION Woodle, E. S., Millis, J. M., So, S. K., McDiarmid, S. V., Busuttil, R. W., Esquivel, C. O., Whitington, P. F., Thistlethwaite, J. R. 1998; 66 (5): 606-609


    Pediatric liver transplant recipients have traditionally been grouped according to age. Age-based classification schemes are useful in identifying clinical problems in selected age groups and also for developing solutions to these problems. Although infants in the first 3 months of life have not traditionally been considered a distinct age group, several features of these infants may distinguish them from other pediatric liver transplant recipients.The experience with liver transplantation in infants during the first 3 months of life in three large pediatric liver transplant programs (University of Chicago, Stanford University, and UCLA) was analyzed in order to characterize this group.A total of 23 liver transplants were performed at these three centers in children younger than 3 months of age. This group of patients comprised approximately 37% of the U.S. experience between 1988 and 1994 according to United Network for Organ Sharing statistics. Age distribution at the time of transplantation included the following: <1 month, 28%; 1-2 months, 35%; and 2-3 months, 36%. Median age at the time of transplantation was 37 days (range, 7-90 days), and mean age was 57+/-30 days. Mean weight at the time of transplantation was 3.8+/-1.0 kg. Etiology of liver disease included idiopathic hepatitis, 52%; iron storage disease, 17%; and other causes, 31%. Types of liver allografts used included cadaveric, 85% (reduced size, 60%, and full-size, 25%); living donor, 15%; ABO-identical, 65%; and ABO-compatible, 35%. Actuarial patient and graft survival rates were 60% and 60% at 1 year and 60% and 42% at 2 years, respectively. Median follow-up was 1.5 years. Rejection occurred in 42% of patients, with a median time to first rejection of 13 days. Of these patients, 28% required steroids only and 14% required OKT3. Three patients (14%) were retransplanted at a median time to retransplantation of 1.6 years. Vascular thrombosis occurred in three patients (14%).Liver transplantation performed in infants younger than 3 months of age (1) provides acceptable short- and long-term patient and graft survival, (2) is associated with significant rates of rejection, and (3) is not associated with excessive rates of vascular thrombosis. The etiology of end-stage liver disease occurring in the first 3 months of life is distinct from that in other pediatric liver transplant recipient age groups. These infants should be referred promptly for liver transplantation as reasonable survival can be expected.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000075996500010

    View details for PubMedID 9753340

  • Allograft rejection after liver transplantation for autoimmune liver diseases LIVER TRANSPLANTATION AND SURGERY Hayashi, M., Keeffe, E. B., Krams, S. M., Martinez, O. M., Ojogho, O. N., So, S. K., Garcia, G., Imperial, J. C., Esquivel, C. O. 1998; 4 (3): 208-214


    Autoimmune liver diseases (AILD) may progress to liver failure, requiring liver transplantation as definitive therapy, and these immune-mediated disorders may predispose the patient to more frequent graft rejection. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of preexisting AILD on the incidence of allograft rejection after liver transplantation. Sixty-three patients who underwent liver transplantation between March 1988 and December 1994 for AILDs that included autoimmune hepatitis (AIH; n = 33) and primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC; n = 30) were retrospectively compared with 47 patients who underwent liver transplantation for alcoholic cirrhosis during the same time period. There was a lower incidence of acute allograft rejection in patients with AILD who received tacrolimus-based compared with cyclosporine-based immunosuppression (50% v 85.5%; P = .02). However, patients with AILDs overall had a higher incidence of acute rejection than patients with alcoholic cirrhosis (81% v 46.8%; P < .001), regardless of the type of immunosuppression. In addition, steroid-resistant rejection occurred more frequently in patients with AILDs than in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis (38.1% v 12.8%; P = .003). There was also a trend toward a higher incidence of chronic rejection in patients with AILDs compared with patients with alcoholic cirrhosis (11.1% v 2.1%), but this difference did not reach statistical significance. Patient and graft survivals at 1 and 3 years were similar between patients with AILDs and alcoholic liver disease. Compared with alcoholic cirrhosis, preexisting AILDs are associated with a higher incidence of acute allograft rejection and a trend toward more frequent chronic rejection.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000077183800004

    View details for PubMedID 9563959

  • Indications for pediatric liver transplantation. Pediatric transplantation McDiarmid, S. V., Millis, M. J., Olthoff, K. M., So, S. K. 1998; 2 (2): 106-116


    This review discusses the indications for orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) in children and provides guidelines for the appropriate time to list children for transplant. The diseases for which OLT are indicated in children are divided into diagnostic categories with a focus on the natural history and appropriate medical and surgical therapy prior to transplantation. Contraindications to transplantation pertinent to specific diseases are outlined, with particular emphasis on complex metabolic defects with extrahepatic manifestations. The clinical conditions which indicate that listing for OLT is appropriate, as well as the relative and absolute contraindications, irrespective of diagnosis, are discussed. The importance of malnutrition and poor development as listing criteria is stressed. Special timing considerations for diagnoses relevant to the pediatric age group, e.g. urea cycle defects and Crigler-Najjar syndrome, are emphasized. Finally, the impact of co-existing extrahepatic disease on the decision to list children for OLT is reviewed.

    View details for PubMedID 10082442

  • Current status of living-related liver transplantation. Pediatric transplantation Hayashi, M., Cao, S., Concepcion, W., Monge, H., Ojogho, O., So, S., Esquivel, C. O. 1998; 2 (1): 16-25


    Living-related liver transplantation has come of age. This manuscript addresses the most important facets of the living-related liver transplant procedure including selection of the donor, the recipient operation, immunosuppression and rejection as well as the most common surgical complications. It also describes the results in terms of patient and graft survival, retransplantation and quality of life. Although living-related liver transplantation has not solved the problem of organ shortage, it has provided many children with an opportunity to live and enjoy life.

    View details for PubMedID 10084755

  • Experience with the piggyback technique without caval occlusion in adult orthotopic liver transplantation TRANSPLANTATION Busque, S., Esquivel, C. O., Concepcion, W., So, S. K. 1998; 65 (1): 77-82


    To assess the feasibility and outcome of a piggyback technique without caval occlusion or veno-venous bypass (VB), we retrospectively reviewed 131 consecutive adult orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) performed in 129 patients between May 1993 and February 1995. Six were second transplants, and six were combined liver-kidney transplants. The piggyback technique was attempted in all cases.We were able to perform the piggyback technique in 98 OLTs (75%). The remaining 33 OLTs (25%) were converted to the standard technique; of these, 20 (15%) required VB. The reasons for conversion to the standard technique were: anatomical (22 transplants), severe portal hypertension requiring VB (8 transplants), tumor (1 transplant), and other reasons (2 transplants). Six retransplantations were performed (four piggyback, two standard).There was no significant difference in age, United Network for Organ Sharing status, Child's classification, and diagnosis between the patients in whom piggyback was possible or not. The actuarial patient and graft survival at 1 year were similar between the piggyback group and the group of patients converted to standard technique (87/85% vs. 86/86%, respectively). No death was related to either technique. With piggyback, the average operative time was 8.6+/-1.9 hr, median amount of blood transfused intraoperatively was 2 U (33% did not require transfusion), and median intensive care unit and hospital stays were 3 and 11 days, respectively. With the piggyback technique, the mean preoperative and maximum postoperative serum creatinine levels were 1.4+/-1.0 and 1.8+/-1.5 mg/dl.The piggyback technique without caval occlusion is possible in the majority of patients. It is safe and has reduced the use of VB to 15% of our adult OLTs. The piggyback technique avoids retrocaval dissection, facilitates retransplantation, and is associated with a short anhepatic phase, low blood product usage, and short intensive care unit stay.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000071516900014

    View details for PubMedID 9448148

  • Liver transplantation at Stanford University Medical Center. Clinical transplants Millan, M. T., Keeffe, E. B., Berquist, W. E., Castillo, R. O., Cox, K. L., Garcia, G., Imperial, J. C., Monge, H., So, S. K., Esquivel, C. O. 1998: 287-296


    Because of the unique demographics of our patient population, we have had the opportunity to dedicate further studies of the management of hepatitis B and hepatitis C. We have experienced a very low HBV recurrence rate with the use of HBIG in patients transplanted for hepatitis B. Investigations, including the use of new antiviral agents, and the development of approaches to minimize or abrogate disease recurrence such as lower levels of immunosuppression are ongoing. Using a standardized approach to the proper evaluation and selection of patients for liver transplantation with alcoholic liver disease or other liver diseases with coexistent alcohol abuse, we report favorable long-term results in these patients. We have reviewed our results and our approach to the management of EBV and posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder. There is a firm commitment in our laboratories and outpatient clinics to the investigation of disease prevention, reliable detection and screening methods, and treatment modalities for EBV-related disease. We have addressed specific technical considerations to pediatric liver transplant and have discussed unique aspects of postoperative management in these patients. One-third of the transplants performed at Stanford are in children, 42% of whom are less than one year old. Results with our pediatric transplant recipients compare favorably with those of our adult recipients with patient and graft survival rates approaching 90% at one year and exceeding 80% at 46 months for both groups. As a response to the limited organ supply, we have extended our criteria for suitable donors. Most notably, we have utilized older donors and grafts with significant microsteatosis and have observed good results with these grafts as long as ischemia time is minimized. We have also successfully used reduced size grafts for our pediatric patients with good results and are continuing to expand the use of living-related partial grafts and split allografts.

    View details for PubMedID 10503106

  • Minimal criteria for placement of adults on the liver transplant waiting list: a report of a national conference organized by the American Society of Transplant Physicians and the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. Liver transplantation and surgery Lucey, M. R., Brown, K. A., Everson, G. T., Fung, J. J., Gish, R., Keeffe, E. B., Kneteman, N. M., Lake, J. R., Martin, P., McDiarmid, S. V., Rakela, J., Shiffman, M. L., So, S. K., Wiesner, R. H. 1997; 3 (6): 628-637


    This report summarizes a recent meeting cosponsored by the American Society of Transplant Physicians and the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases to formulate minimal criteria by which patients with severe liver disease will be placed on the waiting list for liver transplantation. The participants agreed that only patients in immediate need of liver transplantation should be placed on the waiting list. Patients should not be placed in anticipation of some future need for such therapy. It was agreed that minimal criteria could assist but not replace the clinical judgment of the transplant professionals at individual centers. The criteria will be summarized below for adult patients with acute or chronic liver disease. The most important non-disease-specific criterion for placement on the transplant waiting list was an estimated 90% chance of surviving 1 year. This translated into a Child-Pugh score of > or = 7 for patients with cirrhosis which places the patient in Child-Pugh class B or C. Cirrhotic patients who have experienced gastrointestinal bleeding caused by portal hypertension or a single episode of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis would meet the minimal criteria irrespective of their Child-Pugh score. There were disease-specific criteria also. These include a sole minimal criterion for patients with fulminant hepatic failure regardless of etiology of the onset of stage 2 hepatic encephalopathy. A requirement for 6 months abstinence from alcohol before placement on the transplant waiting list was considered appropriate for most patients with alcoholic liver disease. Exceptional cases could get access to the waiting list through a regional review process. Chronic cholestatic diseases present difficulties because of a different natural history than that of chronic hepatocellular diseases. The use of specific risk scores for primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis will likely replace Childs-Pugh classification as the scoring systems become refined. Minimal criteria for any patient with a primary hepatocellular cancer would admit any patient with a tumor confined to the liver irrespective of size or number of tumors, after careful investigation had failed to show spread to lymph nodes, the portal vein, or distant organs. Unusual or rare indications for liver transplantation, including Budd-Chiari syndrome, Wilson's disease, and other hereditary disorders, were also discussed. Finally, it was agreed that there should be no absolute contraindications to placement of patients on the liver transplant waiting list. These criteria should be open to regular review to accommodate advances in the field.

    View details for PubMedID 9404965

  • Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt placement in a child complicated by perforated Roux-en-Y portoenterostomy JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC GASTROENTEROLOGY AND NUTRITION Wang, J., Cox, K. L., Dake, M., Esquivel, C. O., So, S. K. 1997; 25 (4): 421-425

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997XY50500011

    View details for PubMedID 9327374

  • Superior outcomes in pediatric renal transplantation 68th Annual Session of the Pacific-Coast-Surgical-Association Salvatierra, O., Alfrey, E., Tanney, D. C., Mak, R., Hammer, G. B., Krane, E. J., So, S. K., Lemley, K., Orlandi, P. D., Conley, S. B. AMER MEDICAL ASSOC. 1997: 842–47


    Nationally, results of renal transplantation in children, particularly in small children, are inferior to those obtained in adults.To determine factors important for success in renal transplantation in children.Results of 108 consecutive renal transplantations performed in patients aged 7 months to 18 years were reviewed and compared with those reported by the North American Pediatric Renal Transplant Cooperative Study (NAPRTCS), the national registry.One-, 2-, and 3-year graft survival rates (+/-SE) were 99% +/- 1%, 95% +/- 3%, and 93% +/- 4%, respectively, for living donor grafts and 97% +/- 3%, 92% +/- 6%, and 92% +/- 6%, respectively, for cadaver grafts. Incidence of acute rejection was half that reported by NAPRTCS. There were no graft losses for technical reasons (19% in NAPRTCS). Twelve percent of patients were younger than 2 years (6% in NAPRTCS); 17% were 2 to 5 years old (16% in NAPRTCS). Most small children received an adult-sized kidney. Ninety-three percent of recipients weighing 15 kg or less received postoperative mechanical ventilation assistance to optimize fluid resuscitation and perfusion of adult-sized kidneys. Structural abnormalities of the urinary tract were present in 53.7% of the patients (48.5% in NAPRTCS; adults, 5.3%). Nephroureterectomy was required in 38 children; in 27 (71%) of them, it was performed at the time of transplant surgery.Excellent results can be obtained in pediatric renal transplantation by strict adherence to surgical detail, tight immunosuppressive management, aggressive fluid management in the small child, and careful integration of urologic and transplant surgery.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997XQ29400010

    View details for PubMedID 9267267

  • Factors affecting survival after orthotopic liver transplantation in infants TRANSPLANTATION Cacciarelli, T. V., Esquivel, C. O., Moore, D. H., Cox, K. L., Berquist, W. E., Concepcion, W., Hammer, G. B., So, S. K. 1997; 64 (2): 242-248


    The technical and medical management of small infants requiring orthotopic liver transplantation remains a challenge. The present study examined 117 orthotopic liver transplantations performed in 101 infants from <1 to 23 months of age between March 1988 and February 1995 to determine factors that influence patient and graft outcome. Factors analyzed included etiology of liver disease, recipient and donor age and weight, United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) status, retransplantation, ABO-compatibility, full-size (FS) versus reduced-size grafts, vascular thrombosis (VT), including hepatic artery and portal vein (PVT), and the presence of lymphoproliferative disease (LPD). UNOS status 1, fulminant hepatic failure, and the development of Epstein-Barr virus-associated LPD were each associated with 10-20% lower patient and graft survival rates. Of 101 infants, 11 (11%) developed LPD with an associated 36% mortality. VT occurred in 10 (9 hepatic artery and 1 portal vein) of 117 orthotopic liver transplantations (9%), all less than 1 year of age, and was associated with significantly poorer 1-year (50% vs. 85% no VT, P<0.01) and 5-year patient survival rates (50% vs. 83% no VT, P<0.01). One-year graft survival rates for FS grafts in recipients <12 months versus 12-23 months were 67% vs. 94% (P<0.01); the patient survival rate was also significantly lower in FS graft recipients <12 months (76% vs. 100%, P<0.05). Recipients <5 months of age had the worst survival rates: 1-year and 5-year patient survival rates were 65% and 46% for recipients 0-4 months (n=17) versus 82% and 82% for recipients 5-11 months (n=56), and 93% and 93% for recipients age 12-23 months (n=28; P<0.05). In summary, factors associated with reduced survival rates include recipient age <5 months, recipient age <12 months who received FS grafts, development of VT and donor weight <6 kg. There was a trend for UNOS status 1, fulminant hepatic failure, and presence of LPD to be associated with reduced survival rates.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997XN86900011

    View details for PubMedID 9256181

  • Potential effect of cyclosporin A in formation of cholesterol gallstones in pediatric liver transplant recipients DIGESTIVE DISEASES AND SCIENCES Cao, S., Cox, K., So, S. S., Berquist, W., Lee, S. P., Haigh, W. G., Concepcion, W., Monge, H., Esquivel, C. O. 1997; 42 (7): 1409-1415


    Recent advancements in liver transplantation have resulted in extended survival both for grafts and recipients. Such improvement, together with the shortage of donor organs has prompted expansion of the donor pool to include less than ideal donors, especially in life-threatening situations. The use of older liver donors has been associated with lower long-term survival. However, potential morbidity such as gallstone formation has not been explored. We analyzed bile composition in a child who developed cholesterol gallstones in the proximal bile duct two years after undergoing emergency liver transplantation with a liver from a 78-year-old donor. Oral administration of ursodeoxycholic acid (ursodiol) shifted the cholesterol composition of the bile from a supersaturated, potentially crystallized state to a liquid (micellar) state. Unlike cyclosporin A, FK506 showed an increase in the proportion of chenodeoxycholic acid and a decrease in the proportion of cholic acid, and thus may exhibit minimal or no hepatotoxic effect. Thus, in donor livers with factors known to be associated with cholesterol gallstone formation (such as age, sex, or obesity), one may consider analyzing the bile composition at the time of procurement. Depending on cholesterol and bile acid composition the use of FK506 with or without addition of ursodeoxycholic acid may be warranted.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997XN21600013

    View details for PubMedID 9246038

  • Orthotopic liver transplantation from non-heart-beating donor rats: Effect of flushing with cold/warm UW/SLS preservation solutions XVI International Congress of the Transplantation-Society Tojimbara, T., Winston, W. N., So, S. K., Esquivel, C. O. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 1997: 1371–73

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997WM12700610

    View details for PubMedID 9123344

  • Emergency transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) in an infant: A case report JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC SURGERY Cao, S., Monge, H., Semba, C., Cox, K. L., Berquist, W., Concepcion, W., So, S. K., Esquivel, C. O. 1997; 32 (1): 125-127


    Since the first successful report regarding the feasibility of transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) as an alternative to surgical decompression of portal hypertension, this method has been used extensively as a temporizing measure in controlling refractory variceal bleeding before liver transplantation in adults with cirrhosis. There are few reports of TIPS in pediatric patients because variceal bleeding in most of these patients can often be managed conservatively without invasive intervention. Recently, successful use of TIPS to treat complications of portal hypertension has been described in two children ages 10 and 13. To our knowledge, there are no reports of TIPS used in infants under the age of 1 year. The authors report a case in which TIPS was used to successfully control variceal bleeding in a 10-month-old infant before consideration for hepatic transplantation.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997WE27500040

    View details for PubMedID 9021592

  • Liver transplantation in Asian patients with chronic hepatitis B HEPATOLOGY HO, B. M., So, S. K., Esquivel, C. O., Keeffe, E. B. 1997; 25 (1): 223-225


    It has been suggested that Asian patients have reduced survival after liver transplantation because of greater recurrence of hepatitis B virus (HBV). We analyzed the outcome of Asian and non-Asian patients receiving transplants for chronic hepatitis B between May 1988 and March 1994. Baseline Child-Pugh score and United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) status, HBV recurrence, and survival were compared between the two groups. All but one patient received variable doses of hepatitis B immune globulin. Mean follow-up of surviving patients was 28 months (range, 3-71 months). Fifteen Asians and 20 non-Asians underwent transplantation. Six of 15 Asians (40%) and 4 of 20 non-Asians (20%) died during the study period. Although Asians had a lower 1-year survival than non-Asians (59% for Asians and 94% for non-Asians), the 5-year actuarial survival was not different (59% and 57% for Asians and non-Asians, respectively). The causes of death in 5 of 6 Asians were factors other than recurrent hepatitis B, and 4 of 5 deaths occurred within 60 days after transplantation. Eighty percent of Asian patients were Child-Pugh class C at referral, compared with 50% of non-Asians, and Asians were more likely to be status 1 at transplantation (40% vs. 10%; P < .05). By contrast, all four deaths in non-Asians occurred late and were secondary to recurrent HBV infection. Of patients surviving more than 60 days after transplantation, 7 of 11 Asians (64%) and 10 of 20 non-Asians (50%) developed recurrent HBV infection (NS). Late mortality attributable to HBV recurrence was lower but not significantly different in Asians (1 of 7 [14%]) than in non-Asians (4 of 10 [40%]). In summary, HBV recurrence and late HBV-related mortality in Asians and non-Asians is similar after liver transplantation for chronic hepatitis B. Late referral and more advanced chronic liver disease at the time of transplantation probably account for the lower 1-year survival of Asians after liver transplantation.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997WA90200040

    View details for PubMedID 8985294

  • Continuous venovenous hemofiltration with dialysis in combination with total hepatectomy and portocaval shunting - Bridge to liver transplantation TRANSPLANTATION Hammer, G. B., So, S. K., ALUZRI, A., Conley, S. B., Concepcion, W., Cox, K. L., Berquist, W. E., Esquivel, C. O. 1996; 62 (1): 130-132


    Children who experience acute liver failure following liver transplantation will have multiple organ failure and a high rate of mortality unless emergency retransplantation can be performed. Transplant hepatectomy with portocaval shunting has been described as a bridge to transplantation in the most severe cases, as well as in patients with fulminant hepatic failure at high risk for mortality who have not undergone liver transplantation. Patients with multiple organ failure who have undergone hepatectomy require renal replacement therapy. Continuous hemofiltration may be used in patients with fulminant hepatic failure to facilitate fluid removal and circulatory and metabolic balance. We used continuous venovenous hemofiltration with dialysis following hepatectomy with portocaval shunting in a patient who remained anhepatic for 66 hr in order to achieve circulatory and metabolic homeostasis as well as stable neurologic function prior to successful retransplantation.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996UX68500026

    View details for PubMedID 8693530

  • Cyclosporine and tacrolimus both suppress activation of kupffer cells in vitro 4th International Congress of the Asian-Transplantation-Society Tojimbara, T., Bermudez, L. E., Egawa, H., Hayashi, M., So, S. K., Esquivel, C. O. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 1996: 1381–82

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996UR78100105

    View details for PubMedID 8658704

  • Oral tacrolimus (FK506) induction therapy in pediatric orthotopic liver transplantation TRANSPLANTATION Cacciarelli, T. V., Esquivel, C. O., Cox, K. L., Hayashi, M., Berquist, W. E., Concepcion, W., So, S. K. 1996; 61 (8): 1188-1192


    We have adopted the use of an oral tacrolimus induction protocol in pediatric liver transplantation since the commercial release of tacrolimus in 1994. In this study we analyzed the efficacy of oral tacrolimus induction therapy in 17 consecutive transplants (15 patients) performed between 6/94 and 2/95 and 4 additional patients who were retransplanted between 11/93-5/94 and received compassionate oral tacrolimus induction. Sixteen transplants were treated with oral tacrolimus induction only; 5 transplants, oral tacrolimus + ATGAM/OKT3 induction. The protocol consisted of 0.2 mg/kg of tacrolimus orally on the first postoperative day with a corticosteroid taper. Oral tacrolimus was started at day 1-8 in the 5 patients receiving ATGAM/OKT3 induction. Dosages were adjusted over time to maintain a whole-blood trough level of 12-15 ng/ml at 0-1 month, 10-12 ng/ml at 1-3 months, and 5-10 ng/ml after 3 months. The incidence of acute rejection was 50% (8/16) in children on oral tacrolimus induction alone and 80% (4/5) in the tacrolimus + ATGAM/OKT3 group. Epstein-Barr virus infection occurred in 6 of 19 children (32%), with no child developing lymphoproliferative disorder. No adverse effect on renal function was noted. Serum fasting glucose was stable over time while a trend was noted in decreasing serum cholesterol levels at 6 months. Antihypertensive medication was required in 4 of 19 children (21%) posttransplantation. Corticosteroids were withdrawn in 11% (2/19) of patients. Actuarial 1-year patient and graft survivals were 95% and 86%, respectively. The use of oral tacrolimus induction therapy was associated with excellent survival and a low incidence of complications.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996UJ00300012

    View details for PubMedID 8610416

  • Suggested guidelines for the use of tacrolimus in pediatric liver transplant patients TRANSPLANTATION Esquivel, C. O., So, S. K., McDiarmid, S. V., Andrews, W. S., Colombani, P. M. 1996; 61 (5): 847-848

    View details for Web of Science ID A1996UA76800033

    View details for PubMedID 8607198

  • Expression of cytokines and immune mediators during chronic liver allograft rejection 14th Annual Meeting of the American-Society-of-Transplant-Physicians Hayashi, M., Martinez, O. M., GARCIAKENNEDY, R., So, S., Esquivel, C. O., Krams, S. M. WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 1995: 1533–38


    To determine the immune processes involved in chronic liver allograft rejection (CR) we examined in situ cytokine production in tissue from 15 patients with both clinical and histopathological diagnoses of CR. Total RNA was isolated from liver samples, reverse-transcribed and analyzed by RT-PCR for the production of proinflammatory cytokines and immunoregulatory mediators. Transcripts for the Th1-like cytokines IL-2 and IFN-gamma were detected in 53.3% and 46.7% of CR grafts, while they were detected in only 16% and 0% of stable grafts, respectively. The cytotoxic T cell mediator granzyme B was expressed in the majority of liver grafts undergoing CR, but was expressed only in a minority of stable grafts (80% vs. 16%, P < 0.05). The T cell product IL-5 was also significantly upregulated in CR as compared with stable livers (80% vs. 16%, P < 0.01). Other Th2 cytokines--IL-4 and IL-10--and macrophage products--IL-1 beta, IL-6, IL-8, TGF-beta, and TNF-alpha--were not substantially upregulated in CR grafts as compared with stable grafts. PDGF-beta transcripts were detected in the majority of the CR grafts, but were not detected in stable liver grafts (73% vs. 0, P < 0.05). By immunohistochemical staining, we observed that CD3+CD4+, and CD3+CD4- T cells were detected in CR grafts along with CD20+ B cells and CD68+ macrophages. There was, however, a predominant infiltration of CD3+CD4+ lymphocytes. Taken together, these data suggest that infiltrating cells produce proinflammatory and immunoregulatory cytokines that have a role in mediating graft damage in CR.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995TN23000027

    View details for PubMedID 8545886

  • THE USE OF NON-HEART-BEATING CADAVER DONORS IN EXPERIMENTAL LIVER-TRANSPLANTATION TRANSPLANTATION Tojimbara, T., Kennedy, R. G., BURNS, W., Hayashi, M., Krams, S., Martinez, O., So, S., Esquivel, C. O. 1995; 60 (10): 1179-1180

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995TH32800020

    View details for PubMedID 7482728


    View details for Web of Science ID A1995TE94600031

    View details for PubMedID 7491682

  • A REASSESSMENT OF ABO INCOMPATIBILITY IN PEDIATRIC LIVER-TRANSPLANTATION TRANSPLANTATION Cacciarelli, T. V., So, S. K., Lim, J., Concepcion, W., Cox, K., Esquivel, C. O. 1995; 60 (7): 757-760


    The present study examined 144 pediatric liver transplants to determine the impact of ABO matching on liver allograft outcome. Pediatric transplants were divided into 3 groups: ABO identical (ABO-Id; n = 108), ABO-compatible nonidentical (ABO-Comp; n = 22), and ABO incompatible (ABO-Inc; n = 14). A higher proportion of United Network for Organ Sharing status 4 recipients in the ABO-Comp group (50% vs. 22% and 36% for ABO-Id and ABO-Inc, P < 0.05) and less time spent on the waiting list for ABO-Inc recipients (46 +/- 12 vs. 87 +/- 11 and 61 +/- 20 days for ABO-Id and ABO-Comp, P < 0.01) were noted. OKT3 induction therapy was greater in ABO-Inc grafts (57% vs. 19% and 14% for ABO-Id and ABO-Comp, P < 0.05), as was incidence of acute cellular rejection (79% vs. 59% and 41% for ABO-Id and ABO-Comp, P = 0.08). One- and 3-year patient survival rates were 87% and 83% in the ABO-Id group, 95% and 88% in the ABO-Comp group, and 79% and 79% in the ABO-Inc group (P = NS). One- and 3-year graft survival rates were 83% and 78% in the ABO-Id group, 87% and 80% in the ABO-Comp group, and 71% and 71% in the ABO-Inc group (P = NS). ABO-Inc transplantations can be performed successfully in pediatric recipients and warrant a reassessment of the utilization of ABO-Inc livers.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995RZ96800024

    View details for PubMedID 7570989

  • LIVER-TRANSPLANTATION IN A CHILD WITH SICKLE-CELL-ANEMIA TRANSPLANTATION Lang, T., Berquist, W. E., So, S. K., Cox, K. L., RICH, E. J., Vichinsky, E., Concepcion, W., Esquivel, C. O. 1995; 59 (10): 1490-1492

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995RB42900025

    View details for PubMedID 7770941

  • EFFECTS OF PENTOXIFYLLINE PRETREATMENT ON KUPFFER CELLS IN RAT-LIVER TRANSPLANTATION HEPATOLOGY Kozaki, K., Egawa, H., Bermudez, L., Keefe, E. B., So, S. K., Esquivel, C. O. 1995; 21 (4): 1079-1082


    Previous research with pentoxifylline (PTX), a methylxanthine phosphodiesterase inhibitor, suggests that this drug may be capable of suppressing the activation of Kupffer cells and thereby help decrease liver injury after transplantation. To investigate this possibility, the current study sought to determine whether the release of O2- and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) from Kupffer cells in donor livers can be suppressed if the organs are exposed to PTX before preservation. In an in vitro experiment, rat livers were flushed with PTX (25 mg/kg body weight) in University of Washington (UW) solution or UW solution alone (control) and then and stored in UW solution for either 4 or 24 hours. Kupffer cells then were purified and their degree of activation determined by measuring O2- release and the production of TNF after lipopolysaccharide stimulation. In an in vivo experiment, a group of rats underwent orthotopic liver transplantation with grafts prepared in the same manner as in the in vitro study. TNF and aspartate transaminase (AST) were measured in blood samples taken 3 hours and 24 hours after transplantation. Compared with controls, the Kupffer cells from grafts pretreated with PTX produced significantly less O2- and TNF, and the recipients of PTX-pretreated grafts had lower levels of TNF and AST 3 hours after transplantation. The current data indicate that O2- and TNF production in liver grafts is suppressed by PTX pretreatment. Through its suppressive effect on Kupffer cells, PTX may help minimize preservation-reperfusion injury and improve graft survival.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995RC07100028

    View details for PubMedID 7705782


    View details for Web of Science ID A1995QM65600028

    View details for PubMedID 7533958

  • FK506 (TACROLIMUS) COMPARED WITH CYCLOSPORINE FOR PRIMARY IMMUNOSUPPRESSION AFTER PEDIATRIC LIVER-TRANSPLANTATION - RESULTS FROM THE US MULTICENTER TRIAL 13th Annual Meeting of the American-Society-of-Transplant-Physicians McDiarmid, S. V., Busuttil, R. W., Ascher, N. L., Burdick, J., DALESSANDRO, A. M., Esquivel, C., Kalayoglu, M., Klein, A. S., Marsh, J. W., Miller, C. M., Schwartz, M. E., Shaw, B. W., So, S. K. WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 1995: 530–36


    We report on the efficacy and safety of FK506 (tacrolimus) compared with a cyclosporine (CsA)-based immunosuppressive regimen after 1 year of treatment in pediatric liver allograft recipients (< 12 years) participating in a multicenter U.S. randomized trial. Patients received either FK506 or CsA as primary immunosuppression following a first ABO-compatible liver transplant. Intravenous FK506 was initiated at 0.1 mg/kg per day, followed by oral FK506 beginning at 0.3 mg/kg per day. The dose was adjusted to maintain plasma trough levels of 0.5-2.0 ng/ml. The CsA group was treated according to each center's usual protocol. Both groups received the same initial doses of corticosteroids. All rejection episodes were biopsy-proven and a standardized algorithm was adopted for the treatment of rejection. Thirty patients were randomized to the FK506 group and 20 to the CsA group. After twelve months of follow-up 20 patients remained in the FK506 group and 13 in the CsA group. Patient survivals were 80% and graft survival 70% in the FK506 group compared with 81% and 71% respectively, in the CsA group. 48% of the FK506 group remained rejection-free compared with 21% of the CsA group, and 79% of FK506-treated patients did not require OKT3 compared with 68% of CsA treated patients. The cumulative corticosteroid dose was less at each time point throughout the first year in the FK506 group. The incidence of serious and minor infections was similar in both groups. Nephrotoxicity, neurotoxicity, and gastrointestinal disturbances were the major toxicities reported. Differences did not reach statistical significance between the two groups although major neurologic events, diarrhea and dyspepsia were more often reported in the FK506 group. There was no difference in mean serum creatinine at 12 months between the two groups. There was a tendency toward lower mean serum cholesterol in the FK506 group. There was no hirsuitism in the FK506 group compared with a 30% incidence in the CsA group. In conclusion, compared with CsA, there is a trend toward less rejection in FK506-treated pediatric allograft recipients, while both drugs have a similar spectrum of side effects.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995QK22500016

    View details for PubMedID 7533345

  • DIFFERENTIAL PATTERNS OF CIRCULATING INTERCELLULAR-ADHESION MOLECULE-1 (CICAM-1) AND VASCULAR CELL-ADHESION MOLECULE-1 (CVCAM-1) DURING LIVER ALLOGRAFT-REJECTION 13th Annual Meeting of the American-Society-of-Transplant-Physicians Lang, T., Krams, S. M., Villanueva, J. C., Cox, K., So, S., Martinez, O. M. WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 1995: 584–89


    During allograft rejection, adhesion molecules play an integral role in infiltration, activation, and binding of effector cells to target tissue. Some adhesion molecules, including ICAM-1 and VCAM-1, exist in soluble, circulating forms that retain ligand-binding activity. In the present study the levels of circulating ICAM-1 (cICAM-1) and VCAM-1 (cVCAM-1) were compared in the serum and bile of pediatric liver recipients. The cICAM-1 was significantly elevated in the serum during allograft rejection and infection relative to periods when no rejection was apparent. Biliary cICAM-1, however, was specifically elevated during rejection and not during infection or when no rejection was apparent. The cVCAM-1 levels were elevated in the serum during rejection compared with levels when no rejection was evident. In contrast, cVCAM-1 was not detected in the bile. Serum levels of both cICAM-1 and cVCAM-1 decreased rapidly following successful treatment for rejection, whereas elevated levels persisted, or increased, in ongoing rejection. The differential patterns of the circulating forms of ICAM-1 and cVCAM-1 were consistent with the membrane expression of these molecules during graft rejection. ICAM-1 expression was extensive on bile duct epithelium, endothelium, hepatocytes, and infiltrating leukocytes during rejection, while VCAM-1 was restricted to endothelium. These findings indicate that the release of circulating adhesion molecules is a prominent feature of liver allograft rejection. Measurement of these markers may be useful in distinguishing rejection from infection and in determining the efficacy of treatment for rejection.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995QK22500025

    View details for PubMedID 7533349

  • IMPACT OF REDUCED-SIZE LIVER-TRANSPLANTATION ON REJECTION AND LIVER ALLOGRAFT OUTCOME IN THE PEDIATRIC POPULATION XVth World Congress of the Transplantation-Society Cacciarelli, T. V., So, S. K., Egawa, H., Cox, K., Esquivel, C. O. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 1995: 1239–40

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995QJ19900497

    View details for PubMedID 7878864

  • CHARACTERIZATION OF CYTOKINE EXPRESSION IN AN ANIMAL-MODEL OF ACUTE LIVER ALLOGRAFT-REJECTION XVth World Congress of the Transplantation-Society Egawa, H., Martinez, O. M., QUINN, M. B., So, S., Esquivel, C. O., Krams, S. M. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 1995: 505–6

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995QJ19900201

    View details for PubMedID 7879079



    Although initial experiences with FK 506 rescue therapy for acute hepatic allograft rejection have provided promising results, analysis of available data indicates that inferior results are obtained when FK 506 rescue therapy is initiated in the latter stages of rejection. Since its initial availability, we have applied an aggressive approach towards FK 506 rescue therapy based on early conversion and assiduous dosing. We have reviewed our experience with this approach in patients with refractory hepatic allograft rejection to provide an assessment of this approach. Sixteen patients were treated for corticosteroid and OKT3-resistant acute hepatic allograft rejection. Fourteen patients were treated for cellular rejection and 2 for humorally-mediated rejection. Median follow-up was 7.3 months posttransplant and 6.0 months post-initiation of FK 506 therapy. Median time to first rejection was 8 days and median time to FK 506 therapy was 29 days. Laboratory values at the time of initiation of FK 506 therapy included: mean serum bilirubin, 4.0 +/- 3.1 mg/dl and SGPT 136 +/- 105 U/l. Prior to FK 506 therapy, patients received an average of 35.5 +/- 19.1 mg/kg of bolus/taper corticosteroids (prednisone equivalent) and 11.25 +/- 4.8 days of OKT3 therapy. FK 506 therapy was successful in reversing all episodes of rejection. Median time to rejection reversal with FK 506 rescue therapy was 23 days (mean +/- SD, 27.6 +/- 16.7 days) in patients with cellular rejection. Time to rejection reversal was 26 and 28 days in the 2 patients with humoral rejection. Patient and graft survival at 6 months were 100%/100%, and 94%/94% at 12 months.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995QK24600008

    View details for PubMedID 7537988

  • LONG-TERM NONRESPONSIVENESS TO A LIVER ALLOGRAFT MAY BE CYTOKINE-MEDIATED XVth World Congress of the Transplantation-Society Egawa, H., Martinez, O. M., QUINN, M. B., Villanueva, J. C., So, S., Esquivel, C. O., Krams, S. M. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 1995: 241–42

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995QJ19900085

    View details for PubMedID 7533390

  • DISTINCT PATTERNS OF TH2 CYTOKINE PRODUCTION DURING IMMUNE ACTIVATION IN PEDIATRIC LIVER ALLOGRAFT RECIPIENTS XVth World Congress of the Transplantation-Society Lang, T., Krams, S. M., Villanueva, J. C., Cox, K., So, S., Esquivel, C., Martinez, O. M. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 1995: 1146–47

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995QJ19900456

    View details for PubMedID 7533367

  • MOLECULAR MARKERS OF EPSTEIN-BARR-VIRUS INFECTION IN THE CIRCULATION OF TRANSPLANT RECIPIENTS XVth World Congress of the Transplantation-Society Martinez, O. M., Villanueva, J. C., LAWRENCEMIYASAKI, L., QUINN, M. B., Gish, R., Cox, K., So, S., Esquivel, C. O., Krams, S. M. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 1995: 1211–12

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995QJ19900484

    View details for PubMedID 7533372

  • CIRCULATING INTERCELLULAR-ADHESION MOLECULE-1 AND VASCULAR CELL-ADHESION MOLECULE-1 IN PEDIATRIC LIVER RECIPIENTS XVth World Congress of the Transplantation-Society Lang, T., Krams, S. M., Villanueva, J. C., So, S. K., Berquist, W. E., Cox, K. L., Esquivel, C. O., Martinez, O. M. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 1995: 1148–49

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995QJ19900457

    View details for PubMedID 7533368

  • ACUTE LIVER ALLOGRAFT-REJECTION IN THE RAT - AN ANALYSIS OF THE IMMUNE RESPONSE TRANSPLANTATION Egawa, H., Martinez, O. M., QUINN, M. B., Villanueva, J. C., So, S., Esquivel, C. O., Krams, S. M. 1995; 59 (1): 97-102


    Liver allografts are vigorously rejected in 9-12 days in Lewis recipients of fully histoincompatible DA livers. The purpose of this study was to examine the initial events in this cascade, specifically the role of CD4+ T helper cells. Lewis recipients of DA or Lewis livers were killed at days 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7 days after transplant. Indicators of acute liver rejection, including a marked inflammatory infiltrate and decreased liver function, progressed in untreated recipients of allografts. Splenocytes taken from allogeneic recipients on days 1-4 and 7 proliferated in response to donor and third-party stimulators, whereas graft-infiltrating cells did not respond to donor and third-party antigens until day 3 after transplant, but thereafter maintained a good response. To further characterize the host T helper cell response to liver allografts, cytokine expression was analyzed in graft tissue and in the periphery. IL-4 mRNA was present in both syngeneic and allogeneic liver grafts, while message for IL-10 was present early in all liver grafts but persisted only in allografts. In contrast, IL-2 and IFN-gamma transcripts were specific to rejecting allografts. Similar patterns of cytokine expression were observed in the spleen, indicating the immune response to the graft involves the peripheral lymphoid organs. Thus, the cytokine profile detected during liver allograft rejection is extremely similar to that observed in other experimental models of transplantation.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995QB42700017

    View details for PubMedID 7839435


    View details for Web of Science ID A1994PQ16900016

    View details for PubMedID 7952466

  • NEUROLOGICAL COMPLICATIONS OF LIVER-TRANSPLANTATION IN ADULT VERSUS PEDIATRIC-PATIENTS TRANSPLANTATION Menegaux, F., Keeffe, E. B., Andrews, B. T., Egawa, H., Monge, H., Concepcion, W., So, S. K., Esquivel, C. O. 1994; 58 (4): 447-450


    Neurological complications are important contributors to morbidity and mortality after liver transplantation. We reviewed 391 patients who underwent 427 consecutive orthotopic liver transplantations to analyze the clinical features of patients who experienced one or more neurological complication (74 patients [19%]) and to compare postoperative neurological problems in adults versus children. Neurological complications were more frequent in adults (64 of 273 patients [23%]) than children (10 of 118 patients [8%]) (P < 0.01). The most common neurological complication was encephalopathy (59%), which ranged widely in severity and occurred with similar frequency in adults and children. Other common neurological complications were seizures (12 patients), brachial plexus and peripheral nerve injuries (16 patients, 15 of whom were adults), stroke (5 patients), and central nervous system infections (5 patients). In 27 patients, drug toxicity was the primary cause of neurological complications, all of which reversed with dosage reduction or discontinuation of drug. Cyclosporine and FK506, primarily during intravenous administration for induction of immunosuppression, accounted for 25 of 27 drug-induced neurological complications, which included encephalopathy, seizures, severe tremor, and severe headache. Despite a higher rate of neurological complications in adults, those in children were more severe and associated with a higher mortality rate. When compared with liver transplant recipients without neurological complications, patients with neurological complications had a higher posttransplant mortality rate (14% vs. 5% for adults, and 50% vs. 7% for children). In conclusion, neurological complications after liver transplantation are more common in adults, more severe and associated with a higher mortality rate in children, and associated with a higher mortality rate in both children and adults when compared with transplant recipients without neurological complications.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994PE12000010

    View details for PubMedID 8073514


    View details for Web of Science ID A1994PA26400020

    View details for PubMedID 7965461

  • FK506 CONVERSION THERAPY IN PEDIATRIC LIVER-TRANSPLANTATION TRANSPLANTATION Egawa, H., Esquivel, C. O., So, S. K., Cox, K., Concepcion, W., Lawrence, L. 1994; 57 (8): 1169-1173


    The safety and efficacy of conversion to FK506 after failing immunosuppression with cyclosporine was prospectively evaluated in 31 pediatric liver transplant recipients between April 1991 and March 1993. The patients, who ranged in age from 40 days to 14 years, accounted for 28 primary transplantations and 3 retransplantations. The initial immunosuppression regimen consisted of cyclosporine in combination with prednisone. The indications for conversion were acute or chronic rejection refractory to OKT3, Minnesota antilymphocyte globulin, or steroids (13 patients); hypertension (8 patients); inability to reach a therapeutic level of cyclosporine (6 patients); hirsutism (3 patients); and growth retardation (1 patient). After an average follow-up of 10 months (range, 2 to 25 months), 27 (87%) of the patients are alive and have functioning grafts. Of the 13 patients who were converted for refractory rejection, 9 are alive. Six of these 9 patients experienced a complete biochemical reversal of the rejection process within 3 months of conversion; 2 had a partial response to conversion, and 1 patient failed but underwent successful retransplantation. Three of the 4 patients who died did so without showing any improvement. The remaining 18 patients who were converted for various other reasons are alive and have functioning grafts. Of the 8 patients who developed hypertension on cyclosporine and prednisone, 6 experienced a resolution of this problem within 3 months of conversion. Three of the 18 children who underwent rescue therapy for reasons other than refractory rejection experienced rejection episodes after conversion to FK506. Two of these 3 children achieved resolution with either steroid therapy or an increased dosage of FK506, while the third child developed chronic rejection. The side effects of FK506 were generally minor and resolved by lowering the dose. Lymphoproliferative disease developed in 2 patients (6%). The present study suggests that FK506 is a relatively safe and effective rescue therapy for pediatric liver transplant recipients who have failed immunosuppression with cyclosporine. Longer follow-up is needed to assess the effect of FK506 on growth.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994NJ20800005

    View details for PubMedID 7513911



    During the two-year period May 1991 to April 1993, 36 kidney transplants were performed in children less than 18 years of age at California Pacific Medical Center using an aggressive quadruple-therapy regimen of immunosuppression. The regimen consisted of induction with an antilymphocyte preparation (MALG in 21, OKT3 in 2, ATGAM in 12, none in 1), initial moderate-dose steroid therapy, early intravenous cyclosporine therapy, and azathioprine. Twenty living-related graft recipients were pretreated with donor-specific transfusions. Long-term cyclosporine was dosed by levels to keep through whole-blood levels (RIA) at 200-300 ng/ml. Twenty-five grafts were from living-related donors, two from living unrelated donors, and nine from cadaveric donors. Eleven (30%) recipients were five years old or under at the time of transplantation. Of these recipients 44% had complex congenital urologic disease and required urologic surgery prior to or at the time of transplantation. Patients have been followed for a mean of one year, with actual patient and graft survivals of 100% and 97%, respectively. Only one graft has been lost, to severe, early recurrent focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. Four of the 36 patients have had one rejection episode each, all reversed completely. Graft function is stable, with serum creatinine proportionate to age--mean serum creatinine in the children under two years old being 0.4 mg/dl, and in the adolescents 1.3 mg/dl, with two adolescent boys having the highest creatinine levels at 1.8 mg/dl. We conclude that an aggressive approach to immunosuppressive therapy in the early posttransplant period with MALG/OKT3/ATGAM induction and rapid achievement of therapeutic cyclosporine levels prevents rejection and results in excellent patient and graft survival with subsequent stable good graft function.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994MZ32800011

    View details for PubMedID 8116038



    Improved cadaver kidney allograft survival rates, shorter duration of acute tubular necrosis, and a reduction in the incidence of rejection have been achieved using "quadruple sequential therapy"--AZA, prednisone, and antilymphocyte globulin (ALG) induction followed by the delayed addition of CsA. OKT3 has been shown to be effective in preventing and treating rejection, including steroid- and ALG-resistant rejection episodes. A single institution prospective randomized trial comparing ALG and OKT3 prophylaxis in first cadaver kidney allograft recipients was performed to assess their relative advantages and disadvantages. First cadaver kidney allograft recipients were prospectively randomized to receive 7 days of either ALG (n = 58) or OKT3 (n = 59) as part of a quadruple therapy protocol that included AZA, prednisone, and oral CsA. Patient characteristics, patient survival and causes of death, graft survival and causes of graft loss, incidence of and time to rejection and response to treatment, incidence of infections and their type, renal function, and antibody formation to ALG and OKT3 were examined. The 1-, 2-, and 3-year actuarial patient survival rates were 96% in the ALG group and 98% in the OKT3 group. The graft survival rates were 81.1%, 78.4%, and 78.4% in the ALG group and 84.1%, 78.7%, and 78.7% in the OKT3 group. In ALG-treated patients, 63% never had rejection, compared with 49% in the OKT3 patients (P = NS). In the ALG group 31% had a single rejection, 6% had 2 rejections, and none had 3 rejections, compared with 37%, 12%, and 2% in the OKT3 group. In the ALG group, 43% were steroid responsive compared with 65% in the OKT3 group (P = 0.08). There were 1.44 infections per patient in the ALG group compared with 0.76 in the OKT3 group (P = 0.0004). In the ALG group, 37% of patients developed CMV disease compared with 10% in the OKT3 group (P = 0.001). In donor-positive/recipient-negative patients, 8/10 (80%) in the ALG group developed CMV infection, of which 6 (75%) had severe or moderate CMV disease, compared with 2/15 (13%) patients in the OKT3 group (P = 0.002), of whom only one (6.7%) developed moderate disease. In donor-positive/recipient-positive patients, 8/23 (35%) in the ALG group developed CMV infection, of whom 5/8 (62.5%) developed severe or moderate disease compared with 1/21 (4.8%) in the OKT3 group (P = 0.02). Antibody formation to ALG and OKT3 occurred in 11% and 8% of patients, respectively.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994MX02000011

    View details for PubMedID 8108873

  • AGGRESSIVE EARLY CYCLOSPORINE THERAPY IS DESIRABLE IN PEDIATRIC RENAL TRANSPLANTATION 1st International Congress on Pediatric Transplantation ALUZRI, A., Conley, S. B., Orlandi, P., So, S., Salvatierra, O. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 1994: 88–90

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994MW59900046

    View details for PubMedID 8109036

  • Liver transplantation at California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, California. Clinical transplants Esquivel, C. O., Martinez, O., Krams, S., Lim, J., So, S. K., Concepcion, W., Cox, K. L., Keeffe, E. B. 1994: 163-171


    A number of modifications in patient selection, operative technique, and immunosuppressive management have greatly contributed to the success of the liver transplant program at CPMC. Graft rejection and the timely detection of EBV infection are ongoing problems in hepatic transplantation that are foci of active research in our field. To address these issues, our group is investigating the activity of cytokines and adhesion molecules using sophisticated molecular techniques, and we are developing a sensitive assay for EBV markers in blood. These and other projects currently in progress will continue when we move our liver transplant program to Stanford University Medical Center in January 1995.

    View details for PubMedID 7547535


    View details for Web of Science ID A1993ML92400017

    View details for PubMedID 8266439

  • COMPARATIVE EFFECTS OF BLOOD, COLLOID, AND RINGERS LACTATE TERMINAL ALLOGRAFT RINSE ON THE RESULTS OF ORTHOTOPIC LIVER-TRANSPLANTATION 2nd International Congress of the Society-for-Organ-Sharing Menegaux, F., Egawa, H., Keeffe, E. B., So, S. K., Concepcion, W., Collins, G. M., Esquivel, C. O. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 1993: 3196–98

    View details for Web of Science ID A1993ML92400093

    View details for PubMedID 8266513

  • FK-506 RESCUE THERAPY - EARLY CONVERSION IMPROVES EFFICACY TRANSPLANTATION PROCEEDINGS Woodle, E. S., Perdrizet, G. A., So, S., Jendrisak, M. D., White, H. M., Marsh, J. W. 1993; 25 (2): 1990-1991

    View details for Web of Science ID A1993KY21900131

    View details for PubMedID 7682359


    View details for Web of Science ID A1993KY21900130

    View details for PubMedID 7682358


    View details for Web of Science ID A1993KY21900116

    View details for PubMedID 8385827


    View details for Web of Science ID A1993KY21900132

    View details for PubMedID 7682360

  • INTRAHEPATIC PORTOSYSTEMIC VASCULAR STENTS - A BRIDGE TO HEPATIC TRANSPLANTATION SURGERY Woodle, E. S., Darcy, M., White, H. M., Perdrizet, G. A., Vesely, T. M., Picus, D., Hicks, M., So, S. K., Jendrisak, M. D., McCullough, C. S., Marsh, J. W. 1993; 113 (3): 344-351


    Refractory esophageal variceal hemorrhage (EVH) remains a formidable problem in patients awaiting liver transplantations. Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts (TIPS) have provided an alternative approach for managing EVH that may obviate the need for portosystemic shunt surgery. Experience with TIPS placement and subsequent successful hepatic transplantation in patients without previous portosystemic shunt surgery has not been previously reported. Two patients are reported who underwent TIPS placement and subsequent successful hepatic transplantation without previous portosystemic shunt surgery. This experience indicates that (1) TIPS can provide effective control of EVH for at least several weeks, (2) TIPS placement decreases portal hypertension, thus facilitating technical performance of the transplant procedure and minimizing blood loss, (3) TIPS may undergo vascular incorporation, thus requiring that they be accurately positioned so that the lengths of suprahepatic inferior vena cava and portal vein are not compromised at the time of transplantation, (4) TIPS thrombosis can be effectively treated and prolonged patency may be observed, and (5) deterioration in hepatic function and exacerbation of hepatic encephalopathy were not observed after TIPS placement. In summary, TIPS provide an attractive, effective means for managing refractory EVH in patients awaiting liver transplantation.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1993KP83100018

    View details for PubMedID 8441970


    View details for Web of Science ID A1993KN62200236

    View details for PubMedID 8382865

  • FK506 - INHIBITION OF HUMORAL MECHANISMS OF HEPATIC ALLOGRAFT-REJECTION TRANSPLANTATION Woodle, E. S., Perdrizet, G. A., Brunt, E. M., So, S. K., Jendrisak, M. D., McCullough, C. S., VEHE, K. L., White, H. M., Peters, M. G., Mohanakumar, T., Marsh, J. W. 1992; 54 (2): 377-381

    View details for Web of Science ID A1992JJ75300035

    View details for PubMedID 1379749

  • EARLY OCCURRENCE OF END-STAGE RENAL-DISEASE IN A PATIENT WITH INFANTILE NEPHROPATHIC CYSTINOSIS JOURNAL OF PEDIATRICS Schnaper, H. W., COTTEL, J., Merrill, S., Marcusson, E., Kissane, J. M., Shackelford, G. D., So, S. K., Nelson, R. D., Cole, B. R., Smith, M. L., Schneider, J. A. 1992; 120 (4): 575-578


    We report the case of a patient with infantile nephropathic cystinosis who required renal transplantation at age 30 months. Exhaustive evaluation did not identify a cause of progressive renal failure other than cystinosis. The patient's genetic lesion was allelic with those of other patients with cystinosis; fusion of this patient's fibroblasts with fibroblasts from another patient with infantile nephropathic cystinosis did not demonstrate complementation of the biochemical defect.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1992HN86100016

    View details for PubMedID 1552398


    View details for Web of Science ID A1992HP30600040

    View details for PubMedID 1373538

  • FK-506 - REVERSAL OF HUMORALLY MEDIATED REJECTION FOLLOWING ABO-INCOMPATIBLE LIVER-TRANSPLANTATION INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON FK 506 Woodle, E. S., Perdrizet, G. A., Brunt, E. M., So, S. K., Jendrisak, M. D., McCullough, C. S., VEHE, K. L., White, H. M., Peters, M. G., Marsh, J. W. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 1991: 2992–93

    View details for Web of Science ID A1991GV17500087

    View details for PubMedID 1721337



    Renal transplantation in infants has been associated with a high incidence of acute tubular necrosis and of renal artery thrombosis. Since 1978, 24 infants who received an adult kidney transplant at the University of Minnesota have had aggressive administration of intravenous colloids to increase the central venous pressure to 16-20 mm Hg before renal reperfusion. Acute tubular necrosis developed in only two infants, and there were no cases of renal artery thrombosis. Chest radiographic evidence of pulmonary edema was present in the recovery room in seven patients (29%) and within the first four postoperative days in five patients (21%). Yet, only two infants (8.3%) required postoperative mechanical ventilation beyond 24 h to manage fluid overload. With aggressive intravenous colloid administration, infants in renal failure can receive an adult kidney transplant with a low incidence of active tubular necrosis or renal artery thrombosis, but pulmonary edema may develop requiring ventilatory support.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1991GR64800009

    View details for PubMedID 1952173



    Prior to 1975 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus were generally not considered candidates for renal transplantation because of concern that immune complex deposition would rapidly destroy the allograft. However, recent evidence suggests that good patient and graft survival rates can be achieved comparable to other renal diseases. Between September 23, 1963 and July 31, 1990, 1070 renal transplants were performed at Washington University Medical Center (WUMC). During this period, 14 patients with SLE (12 female and 2 male) received 16 renal transplants (7 living-related donor [LRD], 1 living-unrelated donor [LURD], and 8 cadaver [CAD]). The mean age at the time of the first transplant was 32.5 +/- 10.3 years. The duration of disease prior to transplant was 88.0 +/- 45.9 months and the duration of hemodialysis prior to transplant was 36.0 +/- 33.7 months. Of these patients, 7/14 (50%) had negative and 3/14 (21%) positive SLE serology pre- and post-transplant, 3/14 (21%) had negative serology pretransplant that became positive posttransplant, and 1/14 (2%) was positive pretransplant and became seronegative posttransplant. Patient survival was 92.8% (13/14), and of the 16 kidneys transplanted 62.5% (10/16) are still functioning with a mean follow-up period of 43.7 +/- 45 months. The current mean serum creatinine was 1.4 +/- 0.26 mg/dl. One noncompliant patient developed recurrent lupus nephritis bringing the total number of cases reported in the literature to seven. The present study demonstrates that patients with SLE can be transplanted with excellent patient and graft survival and function and a low rate of recurrent lupus nephritis. From a review of the literature, there appears to be an association between positive SLE serology pre- and posttransplant and recurrent lupus nephritis.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1991GQ21300009

    View details for PubMedID 1949164

  • LAPAROSCOPIC DRAINAGE OF A POSTTRANSPLANT LYMPHOCELE TRANSPLANTATION McCullough, C. S., Soper, N. J., Clayman, R. V., So, S. S., Jendrisak, M. D., Hanto, D. W. 1991; 51 (3): 725-727

    View details for Web of Science ID A1991FC64900034

    View details for PubMedID 2006532


    View details for Web of Science ID A1991EV39100295

    View details for PubMedID 1989314

  • SUCCESSFUL KIDNEY-TRANSPLANTATION IN INFANTS TRANSPLANTATION PROCEEDINGS Najarian, J. S., Frey, D. J., Matas, A. J., So, S. K., Cook, M., Mauer, S. M., Chavers, B. M., Kashtan, C., Gillingham, K. J., Nevins, T. E. 1991; 23 (1): 1382-1383

    View details for Web of Science ID A1991EV39100196

    View details for PubMedID 1989244

  • A PROSPECTIVE RANDOMIZED COMPARISON OF PROPHYLACTIC ALG AND OKT3 IN CADAVER KIDNEY ALLOGRAFT RECIPIENTS TRANSPLANTATION PROCEEDINGS Hanto, D. W., Jendrisak, M. D., McCullough, C. S., So, S. K., Marsh, J. W., Rush, T., Michalski, S., Phelan, D., Mohanakumar, T. 1991; 23 (1): 1050-1051

    View details for Web of Science ID A1991EV39100058

    View details for PubMedID 1899150


    View details for Web of Science ID A1991EV39000170

    View details for PubMedID 1990579

  • THE USE OF CADAVER KIDNEYS FOR TRANSPLANTATION IN YOUNG-CHILDREN TRANSPLANTATION So, S. K., Gillingham, K., Cook, M., Mauer, S. M., Matas, A., Nevins, T. E., Chavers, B. M., Najarian, J. S. 1990; 50 (6): 979-983


    The role of cadaver kidney transplantation in the management of end-stage renal disease in young children is controversial. To assess the current risk-benefit ratio of cadaver first and second kidney transplants in recipients under 6 years of age, we compared the outcome of 19 transplants performed between 1984 and 1989 using a quadruple-drug regimen (Minnesota antilymphocyte globulin, azathioprine, prednisone, cyclosporine) with the outcome of 25 transplants performed prior to 1984 without the use of cyclosporine at a single institution. Twenty-five transplants were in children under the age of 3 years. In the last decade patient survival has significantly improved. One-year patient survival improved from 53% before 1979 to 90% since 1979 (P less than 0.05). The use of the quadruple-drug regimen since 1984 was associated with a significant improvement in one-year cadaver graft function from 40% before 1979 to 78% in recipients under 6 years of age, and from 22% to 82% in recipients under 3 years of age (P less than 0.05). With the quadruple-drug regimen, one-year and four-year graft function rates for children under 6 years of age were 83% for first cadaver transplants and 72% for second cadaver transplants, which were essentially the same results as in older children and adults. Children who received kidneys from donors over 4 years of age achieved the best result, with 87% one-year graft function compared with 50% for kidneys from donors under 4 years old. In 15 children with successful transplants, 8 (53%) showed accelerated growth, 5 (33%) had normal-velocity growth, and only 2 children (14%) with suboptimal renal function had poor growth following transplantation. Therefore, we believe that with a quadruple-drug immunosuppressive protocol, cadaver renal transplantation using kidneys from adults or pediatric donors over 4 years old is an acceptable form of treatment in young children with end-stage renal disease for whom there are no suitable living-related donors.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1990EN88000016

    View details for PubMedID 2256171

  • RENAL-TRANSPLANTATION IN INFANTS 110TH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN SURGICAL ASSOC Najarian, J. S., Frey, D. J., Matas, A. J., Gillingham, K. J., So, S. S., Cook, M., Chavers, B., Mauer, S. M., Nevins, T. E. LIPPINCOTT-RAVEN PUBL. 1990: 353–67


    The timing of renal transplantation in infants is controversial. Between 1965 and 1989, 79 transplants in 75 infants less than 2 years old were performed: 23 who were 12 months or younger, 52 who were older than 12 months; 63 donors were living related, 1 was living unrelated, and 15 were cadaver donors; 75 were primary transplants and 4 were retransplants. Infants were considered for transplantation when they were on, or about to begin, dialysis. All had intra-abdominal transplants with arterial anastomosis to the distal aorta. Sixty-four per cent are alive with functioning grafts. The most frequent etiologies of renal failure were hypoplasia (32%) and obstructive uropathy (20%); oxalosis was the etiology in 11%. Since 1983 patient survival has been 95% and 91% at 1 and 5 years; graft survival has been 86% and 73% at 1 and 5 years. For cyclosporine immunosuppressed patients, patient survival is 100% at 1 and 5 years; graft survival is 96% and 82% at 1 and 5 years. There was no difference in outcome between infants who were 12 months or younger versus those who were aged 12 to 24 months; similarly there was no difference between infants and older children. Sixteen (21%) patients died: 5 after operation from coagulopathy (1) and infection (4); and 11 late from postsplenectomy sepsis (4), recurrent oxalosis (3), infection (2), and other causes (2). Routine splenectomy is no longer done. There has not been a death from infection in patients transplanted since 1983. Rejection was the most common cause of graft loss (in 15 patients); other causes included death (with function) (7), recurrent oxalosis (3), and technical complications (3). Overall 52% of patients have not had a rejection episode; mean creatinine level in patients with functioning grafts is 0.8 +/- 0.2 mg/dL. Common postoperative problems include fever, atelectasis, and ileus. At the time of their transplants, the infants were small for age; but with a successful transplant, their growth, head circumference, and development have improved. Transplantation in infants requires an intensive multidisciplinary approach but yields excellent short- and long-term survival rates that are no different from those seen in older children or adults. Living donors should be used whenever possible. Patients with a successful transplantation experience improved growth and development, with excellent rehabilitation.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1990EA29400014

    View details for PubMedID 2396887



    We report the successful treatment of a hepatic arterial anastomotic stenosis by angioplasty in an orthotopic liver transplant recipient. The patient had already undergone hepatic infarction and compromised allograft function and sepsis. Baseline duplex ultrasound and angiographic studies showed obstruction of the transplant arterial anastomosis. Following angioplasty, allograft function, areas of infarction, and duplex ultrasound studies returned to normal. At 6-month follow-up the patient remains asymptomatic.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1990DM24200006

    View details for PubMedID 2143695


    View details for Web of Science ID A1990CZ74300181

    View details for PubMedID 2327018

  • INVITRO IMMUNOSUPPRESSIVE EFFECTS OF MURINE HEPATOCYTE CYTOSOL TRANSPLANTATION PROCEEDINGS Bumgardner, G. L., Billiar, T., So, S. K., Chen, S., Dunn, G., Payne, W., Ascher, N. L. 1989; 21 (1): 1154-1155

    View details for Web of Science ID A1989U152300476

    View details for PubMedID 2523119

  • AFFERENT AND EFFERENT PATHWAYS IN T-CELL RESPONSES TO MHC CLASS I+, II-HEPATOCYTES TRANSPLANTATION Bumgardner, G. L., Chen, S., Hoffman, R., Cahill, D. C., So, S. K., Platt, J., Bach, F. H., Ascher, N. L. 1989; 47 (1): 163-170


    We have previously reported that purified hepatocytes stimulate significant in vitro allospecific cytotoxicity when cocultured with naive responder splenocytes in the mixed lymphocyte hepatocyte culture (MLHC). In this report we examined the expression of MHC antigens on the surface of hepatocytes, the phenotypic lymphocyte subset(s) that respond(s) to allogeneic hepatocytes, and the phenotype of allospecific cytolytic effectors generated in MLHC. Hepatocytes expressed MHC class I but not MHC class II antigens by immunofluorescent microscopy and fluorescence activated cell sorting. The lack of MHC class II on the surface of hepatocytes was also indirectly supported by the inability of hepatocytes to stimulate proliferation of a class II-directed allospecific helper T cell clone. The generation of allospecific cytotoxicity in MLHC required the participation of L3T4+, Ly2- T cells and L3T4-, Ly2+ T cells in the naive responder splenocyte population since depletion of these subsets with mAb and complement abrogated the development of allo-CTLs. Furthermore, adherent accessory cells in the naive responder splenocyte population appeared to play a role in the generation of allospecific cytotoxicity in MLHC since depletion of this population by plastic adherence and passage through a Sephadex G10 column resulted in significantly reduced allospecific cytotoxicity. Depletion of day 5 allosensitized cells of Ly2+ but not L3T4+ T cells by mAb and complement eliminated allospecific cytotoxicity--indicating that cytolytic effectors generated in MLHC appear to be L3T4-, Ly2+ T cells.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1989R795700035

    View details for PubMedID 2521406



    A new immunosuppressive regimen combining anti-lymphocyte globulin, azathioprine, prednisone, and low doses of cyclosporine was used in 28 children aged 9 months to 17 years (mean 5.8 years) who received primary renal allografts between July 1, 1984, and September 25, 1986. After a mean follow-up of 17.3 months, the patient and graft survival is 100% (18 of 18) for mismatched related kidneys, and 90% (nine of 10) for cadaver kidneys. The single graft failure was the result of a death from technical complications. Serum creatinine concentration after transplantation ranged from 0.3 to 1.7 mg/dL (mean 0.85 mg/dL). The probability of a rejection episode in the first year was 45% and 60% for mismatched-related and cadaver kidneys, respectively. Cyclosporine nephrotoxicity was recognized in only one (3.7%) of 27 children, and was rapidly reversed after cyclosporine was discontinued. An initial group of nine children was weaned from cyclosporine therapy 6 to 12 months after transplantation, but two (22%) had rejection episodes. Our preliminary experience suggests that the use of a quadruple immunosuppressive regimen for both living related and cadaver renal transplants in children is associated with an improved graft function rate and a low incidence of complications.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1987L199500007

    View details for PubMedID 3316573


    View details for Web of Science ID A1987J700500017

    View details for PubMedID 3303538



    Complications related to vascular access are the most frequent cause of hospitalization for patients on chronic hemodialysis. Many complications are technical in nature and can be avoided if the original surgery is well planned and carefully performed. Radiologic evaluation plays a critical role in the diagnosis and management of failing access of almost any type.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1987G568700003

    View details for PubMedID 2950543

  • GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT IN INFANTS AFTER RENAL-TRANSPLANTATION JOURNAL OF PEDIATRICS So, S. K., Chang, P. N., Najarian, J. S., Mauer, S. M., SIMMONS, R. L., Nevins, T. E. 1987; 110 (3): 343-350


    Between January 1, 1978, and August 31, 1985, 13 infants aged 6 to 11 months received primary renal transplants (12, living related donor; one cadaver) at the University of Minnesota. Twelve infants are alive with functioning grafts (10 primary and two second transplants) after 4 months to 7.5 years. To assess the long-term outcome, we analyzed growth and development in the first nine infants 2 to 7.5 years after receiving their first transplant. Before transplantation, head circumference and height standard deviation scores in six of nine infants were less than -2. Five had seizures; four had delayed mental development, and six delayed motor development. The mean increment in height standard deviation scores for six boys after transplantation was +1.4 (P less than 0.05), and one achieved complete catch-up growth. The mean difference in height standard deviation scores for three infant girls with primary hyperoxaluria was -2.1; nevertheless, two infants with oxalosis are currently alive 2.7 to 3.3 years later. All eight surviving children achieved normal head circumference (mean improvement +2.2 SDS, P less than 0.001), and no child had further seizures. Of seven infants reassessed with the Bayley Scales after transplantation, mental development was normal in all and motor development was normal in five. Our findings suggest that early living related renal transplantation is an important option in the management of end-stage renal disease in infants.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1987G320800002

    View details for PubMedID 3546647

  • 1ST KIDNEY-TRANSPLANTS IN CHILDREN 5 YEARS OF AGE OR YOUNGER TRANSPLANTATION PROCEEDINGS Najarian, J. S., So, S. K., SIMMONS, R. L., Mauer, S. M., Nevins, T. E., Sutherland, D. E., Ascher, N. L., Chavers, B. M., Payne, W. D., FRYD, D. S. 1987; 19 (1): 2111-2112

    View details for Web of Science ID A1987G101500102

    View details for PubMedID 3274477


    View details for Web of Science ID A1987G101300060

    View details for PubMedID 3274778

  • A COMPARISON OF 3 IMMUNOSUPPRESSIVE PROTOCOLS IN PATIENTS AGED OVER 50 YEARS TRANSPLANTATION PROCEEDINGS FRYD, D. S., So, S. K., Kruse, L., Canafax, D. M., Sutherland, D. E., SIMMONS, R. L., Najarian, J. S. 1987; 19 (1): 1530-1531

    View details for Web of Science ID A1987G101400229

    View details for PubMedID 3274374


    View details for Web of Science ID A1987G101500228

    View details for PubMedID 3274539



    We studied hepatocellular expression of major histocompatibility (MHC) antigens in 43 serial liver transplant biopsies from 22 patients (42 percutaneous, 1 autopsy specimen), 4 normal liver biopsies, and 8 percutaneous biopsies of diseased livers from non-liver-transplant patients. Frozen tissue sections were stained by an indirect immunofluorescence technique using monoclonal antibodies (MCAb) that recognize nonpolymorphic human class I or class II MHC determinants. Ethidium bromide was used to stain nuclei and rhodamine-conjugated anti-basement-membrane antibodies to delineate epithelial and vascular structures. HLA-DR antigens recognized by MCAb OKIa1 and I2 were not detected on hepatocytes but were detected on the bile duct epithelium in 7 of 27 transplant biopsies, including 5 with acute rejection and 1 with chronic liver disease that later progressed to chronic rejection. HLA-A, B, C antigens recognized by MCAb 34/28 intensely stained cells lining the liver sinusoids but were negative on hepatocytes in 4 normal liver biopsies and 7 of 8 non-transplant biopsies. Expression of class I MHC antigens on hepatocyte membranes was increased in 17 of 21 (81%) biopsies from patients with acute rejection, in 4 of 4 with chronic transplant liver disease, but in only 3 of 18 (17%) biopsies from patients with no rejection (chi square = 8.62, P less than 0.01). Our observations demonstrate increased expression of MHC class I antigens in association with acute rejection in human orthotopic liver transplantation. Histologic resolution of the rejection episode is generally followed by a decrease in hepatocyte class I antigen expression. Further analysis of this response may have value in assessing the severity of the rejection and effectiveness of treatment.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1987F645400018

    View details for PubMedID 3541328

  • Renal transplantation at the University of Minnesota during the 1980s. Clinical transplants FRYD, D. S., MIGLIORI, R., SIMMONS, R. L., Chavers, B., Dunn, D., Payne, W., Canafax, D. M., Sutherland, D. E., So, S. S., Mauer, S. M. 1987: 167-181


    1. There have been 1,225 renal allografts performed at the University of Minnesota between January 1, 1980 and May 31, 1987. Significant risk factors for graft survival include donor type, retransplantation, and age at time of transplant. In addition, diabetes is a significant risk factor in patient survival. 2. Three immunosuppressive regimens have been used during this time period: AZA + P + ALG, CsA + P, and CsA + AZA + P (+ ALG for CAD grafts). The 3 protocols have been received by 411, 205, and 356 primary renal allograft recipients, respectively. No overall differences between the therapies exist with respect to graft or patient survival. However, females, recipients of CAD organs (especially the recipient with diabetes), and patients 18-50 years of age at transplant have improved graft survival results using CsA + AZA + P (+ ALG). Females and the 18-50-year-old recipients also have improved results with respect to patient survival. 3. The 3 protocols [AZA + P + ALG; CsA + P; and CsA + AZA + P + ALG] have been used for 125, 112, and 174 primary recipients of CAD organs, respectively. Recipients of CsA + AZA + P + ALG have significantly better graft survival overall in the diabetic and poorly matched subgroups. Other high-risk (but small sample size) subgroups show statistically nonsignificant, but clinically important, improvements. These groups include patients over 50 years of age, patients with preformed antibodies, as well as those with compatible ABO blood types. Similar trends exist with respect to patient survival. 4. Risk factor analysis of all patients receiving CsA + AZA + P (+ ALG) indicates that donor type, retransplantation, and age at the time of transplant are still serious risk factors for graft survival. Only age at transplant influences patient survival significantly. 5. The failure to find any significant risk factors in primary recipients of CAD organs in the CsA + AZA + P(+ ALG) era, combined with the generally consistent good graft and patient survival rates, suggest that the traditionally high-risk patient can be successfully transplanted with excellent results. 6. Pediatric patients can be successfully transplanted with results equivalent to 18-50-year-old patients and better than those recipients over 50 years of age at the time of transplant. Random transfusions and combination therapy are at least as good as DST and AZA + P + ALG.

    View details for PubMedID 3154396

  • THE OUTCOME OF 304 PRIMARY RENAL-TRANSPLANTS IN CHILDREN (1968-1985) ANNALS OF SURGERY Najarian, J. S., So, S. K., SIMMONS, R. L., FRYD, D. S., Nevins, T. E., Ascher, N. L., Sutherland, D. E., Payne, W. D., Chavers, B. M., Mauer, S. M. 1986; 204 (3): 246-258


    Of 304 children who received primary renal transplants at the University of Minnesota between January 1, 1968, and December 31, 1985, 48 (16%) were under the age of 24 months, 60 (20%) were 2-5 years old, and 196 (64%) were 6-17 years old at transplantation. Currently, 254 (84%) are alive at 2 months to 18 years following their first transplants, 77% with functioning grafts (188 first, 45 retransplants) and 7% on dialysis. Overall, patient and graft survival were not significantly different from the primary graft outcome of nondiabetic adults. The actuarial primary graft function rates at 1, 5, and 10 years were 100, 100, and 90% in 16 HLA-identical sibling kidneys; 84, 64, and 52% in 210 mismatched related kidneys; and 72, 54, and 47% in 78 cadaver kidneys (p less than 0.002). The 1-year patient survival and primary graft function rates in 44 mismatched related recipients under the age of 24 months were 92 and 88%. The use of deliberate, pretransplant random blood transfusion since 1979 has been associated with a decreased rejection rate. Primary graft function of mismatched related kidneys in children receiving standard immunosuppression has significantly improved from 78% at 1 year in the pretransfusion era to 91% (p less than 0.01) in the transfusion era. The overall primary cadaver graft function rate, however, did not improve in the transfusion era. Whether cyclosporine use will improve the cadaver renal allograft function in very young recipients remains to be established. However, with the use of related donors, even very young children can be transplanted safely and with excellent results.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1986D964000004

    View details for PubMedID 3530152


    View details for Web of Science ID A1986C995900007

    View details for PubMedID 3528621


    View details for Web of Science ID A1986C865100007

    View details for PubMedID 3522458



    The results of 289 renal transplants in 223 children performed at the University of Minnesota during a 15-year period (1968 to 1982) were analyzed retrospectively. We found no statistically significant difference in graft and patient survival rates between 223 first, 50 second, and 13 third transplants. Children with greater than 1 year primary graft function had a significantly better second graft survival, especially when transplant nephrectomy was unnecessary before retransplantation. Children with less than 1 year primary graft function had a poorer second graft survival, particularly when the interval between transplants was less than 1 year. To determine the current risk-benefit factors in retransplantation in children, we compared two eras, our recent 7-year experience with our earlier 8-year experience. First graft survival remained essentially unchanged in both eras; however, graft survival rates of second transplants significantly improved, from 58% to 77% at 2 years (p less than 0.04). Two-year graft survival rates for nonidentical related kidneys improved from 73% to 82% and for cadaveric kidneys from 30% to 66%. Two-year graft survival rates for human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-identical kidneys were 100% in both eras. Better experience in patient care, abandonment of the practice of early retransplantation in children with rapid loss of the primary graft, changes in blood transfusion policy, and the use of better matched cadaveric kidneys probably account for our improved results. In conclusion, current risk-benefits for first and second transplants in children are the same. In our view, it is unwarranted to maintain children on open-ended long-term dialysis because the first graft has failed, although a period of maintenance dialysis to allow recovery from the complications of the first graft seems justified.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1985ASM5700015

    View details for PubMedID 3901376

  • PRELIMINARY-RESULTS OF RENAL-TRANSPLANTATION IN CHILDREN UNDER 1 YEAR OF AGE TRANSPLANTATION PROCEEDINGS So, S. K., Nevins, T. E., Chang, P. N., Mauer, S. M., Ascher, N. L., FRYD, D. S., Sutherland, D. E., SIMMONS, R. L., Najarian, J. S. 1985; 17 (1): 182-183


    Seven episodes of acute thrombosis occurring in five patients with polytetrafluoroethylene dialysis fistulas were treated with local infusions of low-dose streptokinase. Bleeding from previous dialysis puncture sites necessitated stopping the infusion in six out of seven patients, although in one of these six, the graft reopened. The seventh patient had never been dialyzed through the graft and thrombolysis was achieved without incident. Surgery was avoided in only one patient. The authors contend that in these patients the risks of fibrinolytic therapy outweigh the benefits. Surgical thrombectomy, coupled with intraoperative angiography and possible angioplasty, is the preferred method of treating these patients. Venography prior to the creation of the fistula helps the surgeon avoid diseased vessels and may avert early failure of the fistula.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1985ABW2900015

    View details for PubMedID 3969465


    View details for Web of Science ID A1984AEF7000125

    View details for PubMedID 6533948



    In 1980 we determined the patient and renal allograft survival in 299 kidney transplants recipients who, between 1976 and 1979, were randomized to splenectomy (n = 146) versus nonsplenectomy (n = 152), and who were treated with antilymphocyte globulin-azathioprine-prednisone for immunosuppression. The preliminary analysis showed significantly (P less than .05) better (10% overall, 12% for cadaver, 14% for nonidentical-related) graft survival rates at two years in splenectomized recipients. The splenectomized patients had higher white blood counts and received more azathioprine and less prednisone. We concluded that splenectomy had a beneficial effect for at least the first two years posttransplant without a detrimental effect on patient survival. Splenectomy, however, remains controversial. Thus, we reanalyzed the original cohort 7 years after the study began and 4 years after the last patient was entered. The reanalysis showed that the differences in graft survival rates between splenectomized and nonsplenectomized recipients were no longer significant. There were more late deaths from sepsis in the splenectomized group, although the overall patient survival rates were similar in splenectomized and nonsplenectomized recipients. Splenectomy modestly improved graft survival for the first few years, but the eventual fate of the graft was determined by other factors. The dominant influence on graft survival rates was the source of the kidney (at 6 years in splenectomized recipients the functional survival rate of grafts from HLA-identical siblings was 24% higher than that of grafts from HLA-mismatched relatives, which in turn was 24% higher than that of grafts from cadaver donors; in nonsplenectomized recipients the difference in 6-year function rates between HLA-identical and mismatched related grafts was 34%, and between mismatched related and cadaver grafts was 16%. Between 1979 and 1983, we performed pretransplant splenectomies in all recipients of renal allografts from HLA-mismatched related or cadaver donors. Two-year graft survival rates were 81% and 68%, respectively, in azathioprine-treated recipients, 7% and 12% higher than in the splenectomized patients in the randomized trial. (ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

    View details for Web of Science ID A1984TW86900015

    View details for PubMedID 6390823



    Surgically created arteriovenous fistulas of the Brescia-Cimino type are commonly used for dialysis. When they fail, it can be a very difficult and time-consuming problem to manage surgically. The authors describe a simple method of evaluating and treating failing Brescia-Cimino fistulas in outpatients, involving a combination of cinefistulography, pressure measurements, and balloon angioplasty.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1983RH50300020

    View details for PubMedID 6225144


    View details for Web of Science ID A1983QE76300018

    View details for PubMedID 6828347

  • HBV markers in Chinese in Hong Kong. Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore Lam, K. C., Yuen, P., COLBOURNE, M. J., Chang, J., So, S. 1980; 9 (2): 149-151


    A study was carried out on 779 hospital patients in the Orthopaedic and Paediatric Unit of Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong. Patients who had no clinical evidence of liver disease, previous history of transfusion with blood or blood products and no major surgery in the past were entered into the study. Markers of previous exposure to Hepatitis B virus (HBV) were HBsAg, anti-HBc and anti-HBs (radioimmunoassay) were done. The results showed that (a) Chinese living in Hong Kong are exposed to HBV infection throughout life (b) horizontal transmission is the dominant mode of transmission and (c) cpronic HBsAg carriers probably do not carry HBV for life but may clear HBs antigenaemia with age.

    View details for PubMedID 7425525



    Active immunotherapy with tumor cells treated in vitro with Vibrio cholerae neuraminidase (VCN) plus mitomycin C augments the antitumor effects of local x irradiation in the treatment of firmly established methylcholanthrene-induced fibrosarcoma, MC-43, in syngeneic C3H/HeJ female mice. In most experiments, the inhibition of tumor growth was greater when VCN-treated tumor cells were combined with local irradiation than could be achieved with VCN-treated tumor cells or local irradiation alone. Even in those experiments in which the immunotherapeutic effect of VCN-treated cells was negligible, the combination of radiotherapy and immunotherapy appeared to be greater than irradiation alone. Similarly, total permanent regression of established tumors occurred more frequently after combined therapy than after immunotherapy or radiation therapy alone.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1977EG89000001

    View details for PubMedID 592852