Background and Objectives: In many reports, Kallikrein-related peptidases (KLKs) are emerging as cancer prognostic factors or tumor-specific markers, although their exact roles are not known very well. KLK5, a member of KLKs, has already been demonstrated for its significant prognostic value in colorectal, ovarian and breast cancers. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the association between the expression level of KLK5 and the prognosis of patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC).
Materials and Methods: In this study, the expression of KLK5 in a total of 46 HCC patients (HCC tissues vs. adjacent non-cancerous liver tissues) was analysed using Immunohistochemistry (IHC). Then the prognosis value of KLK5 in HCC was evaluated by Kaplan-Meier survival and Cox regression analyses.
Results: KLK5 was obviously down-regulated in the HCC tissues compared to adjacent non-cancerous liver tissues (p<0.0001), and its expression level is significantly associated with tumor differentiation (p=0.038). Survival and recurrence analysis confirmed that the down-regulation of KLK5 was unfavourable for prognosis of HCC. The univariate analysis confirmed that expression level of KLK5 was able to predict OS (Overall Survival) time in HCC (HR: 0.513, 95 % CI: 0.267-0.987, P=0.046), and the multiple Cox regression analysis showed that KLK5 could be a novel independent marker for OS prediction in HCC patients (HR: 0.362, 95% CI: 0.147-0.889, P=0.027).
Conclusion: The results suggest that KLK5 could serve as a novel prognostic marker in evaluating the prognosis of HCC and guiding the treatment plan.