The expression of several growth factors and K-ras gene mutation in bile were studied to better understand the pathogenesis and improve early diagnosis of bile duct cancers. Bile samples were collected from 12 cholangiocarcinomas (CLC), 10 ampullary cancers (APC), 3 gallbladder cancers (GBC), 7 pancreatic cancers (PNC), 9 biliary tract infection (BTI), 8 biliary stone disease (ST), and 5 normal controls (NC). The highest mean value of TGF-β in bile was in patients with BTI; the mean levels of bFGF and PDGF were highest in CLC, and patients with APC and CLC had higher expression of HER2/Neu than other groups. In bile, a K-ras gene codon 12 mutation was found in 5 of 6 (83%) cases of CLC by the PCR-RFLP method. The results suggest overexpression of bFGF, PDGF, and HER2/Neu and the presence of K-ras mutation are important for carcinogenesis of bile duct cancers, and detection of the above abnormalities in bile is helpful for early diagnosis.
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