Serum adiponectin is associated with worsened overall survival in a prospective cohort of hepatocellular carcinoma patients

Abby B. Siegel, Abhishek Goyal, Marcela Salomao, Shuang Wang, Valerie Lee, Christine Hsu, Rosa Rodriguez, Dawn L. Hershman, Robert S. Brown, Alfred I. Neugut, Jean Emond, Tomoaki Kato, Benjamin Samstein, David Faleck, Raffi Karagozian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. The rise in metabolic syndrome has contributed to this trend. Adipokines, such as adiponectin, are associated with prognosis in several cancers, but have not been well studied in HCC. Methods: We prospectively enrolled 140 patients with newly diagnosed or recurrent HCC with Child-Pugh (CP) class A or B cirrhosis. We examined associations between serum adipokines, clinicopathological features of HCC, and time to death. We also examined a subset of tumors with available pathology for tissue adiponectin receptor (AR) expression by immunohistochemistry. Results: The median age of subjects was 62 years; 79% were men, 59% had underlying hepatitis C, and 36% were diabetic. Adiponectin remained a significant predictor of time to death (hazard ratio 1.90; 95% confidence interval 1.05-3.45; p = 0.03) in a multivariable adjusted model that included age, alcohol history, CP class, stage, and serum α-fetoprotein level. Cytoplasmic AR expression (AR1 and AR2) in tumors trended higher in those with higher serum adiponectin levels and in those with diabetes mellitus, but the association was not statistically significant. Conclusions: In this hypothesis-generating study, we found the serum adiponectin level to be an independent predictor of overall survival in a diverse cohort of HCC patients. Impact: Understanding how adipokines affect the HCC outcome may help develop novel treatment and prevention strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-68
Number of pages12
JournalOncology (Switzerland)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 17 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Adiponectin
  • Cancer biology
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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