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Plain English summary of "CD47 is not Over-Expressed in Fibrolamellar Hepatocellular Carcinoma" 

Published in Annals of Clinical and Laboratory Science, August 2017.      

One of the ways the body removes unwanted cells is through phagocytosis, a process where other cells engulf and breakdown unwanted cells and other small particles. This process is balanced by the number of pro-phagocytic markers and anti-phagocytic markers displayed on the outside of a cell. Cancer cells can survive by producing more of these anti-phagocytic markers than pro-phagocytic markers. CD47 is one of these anti-phagocytic markers that is over-expressed in some cancers and is currently being targeted in clinical trials. Since CD47 over-expression is found in conventional hepatocellular carcinoma, the authors of this paper wanted to know if the same was true for fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma. Looking at the protein and gene expression of CD47 in fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma, the authors did not see strong expression of this anti-phagocytic marker. For this reason, they believe, there is no evidence for patients with this cancer to undergo clinical trials for anti-CD47 treatments. This paper provides additional support to the finding that fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma is a distinct cancer from hepatocellular carcinoma.

-Melissa Jarmel, Rockefeller University