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Significance of Herpesvirus Entry Mediator Expression in Human Colorectal Liver Metastasis

Yoshiyuki Sasaki MD, Daisuke Hokuto MD, PhD, Takashi Inoue MD, PhD, Takeo Nomi MD, PhD, Takahiro Yoshikawa MD, Yasuko Matsuo MD, Fumikazu Koyama MD, PhD, Masayuki Sho MD, PhD
Colorectal Cancer
Volume 26, Issue 12 / November , 2019



Herpesvirus entry mediator (HVEM) has been suggested to play various roles in cancer biology. The authors report that HVEM expression in tumor cells is associated with a reduction in the number of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and a poor prognosis after surgical resection in various human gastrointestinal cancers. This study aimed to clarify the clinical significance of HVEM expression in human colorectal liver metastasis (CRLM).


This study examined the cases of 104 patients with CRLM who underwent curative liver resection at Nara Medical University between 2000 and 2014. The median follow-up period was 50.2 months. Immunohistochemical staining was performed using antibodies against HVEM, CD4, CD8, and CD45RO.


High HVEM expression was observed in 49 patients (47.1%) with CRLM. Expression of HVEM was not associated with age, gender, administration of preoperative chemotherapy, tumor size, number of tumors, or histologic differentiation. The high-HVEM group exhibited significantly worse overall survival (OS) than the low-HVEM group (P = 0.002). Multivariate analysis showed that high HVEM expression in CRLM, age of 70 years or older, and having five or more tumors are independent poor prognostic factors for OS (hazard ratio [HR], 3.35; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.41–7.93; P = 0.006). The number of tumor-infiltrating CD8+ and CD45RO+ T cells was significantly lower in the high-HVEM group than in the low-HVEM group. High HVEM expression in primary colorectal cancer was significantly associated with synchronous CRLM, but not with metachronous CRLM.


Tumor HVEM expression might play a critical role in CRLM.

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