Biomol Ther.  2020 Nov;28(6):491-502. 10.4062/biomolther.2020.157.

Sex-Biased Molecular Signature for Overall Survival of Liver Cancer Patients

  • 1Department of Chemistry, College of Natural Sciences, Duksung Women’s University, Seoul 01369, Republic of Korea
  • 2Department of Medical Life Sciences, Department of Biomedicine & Health Sciences, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul 06649, Republic of Korea
  • 3College of Pharmacy and Integrated Research Institute for Drug Development, Dongguk University_Seoul, Goyang 10326, Republic of Korea
  • 4Department of Physiology, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon 16499, Republic of Korea
  • 5Department of Biomedical Science, Graduate School, Ajou University, Suwon 16499, Republic of Korea
  • 6Department of Biochemistry, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon 16499, Republic of Korea
  • 7Duksung Innovative Drug Center, College of Pharmacy, Duksung Women’s University, Seoul 01369, Republic of Korea


Sex/gender disparity has been shown in the incidence and prognosis of many types of diseases, probably due to differences in genes, physiological conditions such as hormones, and lifestyle between the sexes. The mortality and survival rates of many cancers, especially liver cancer, differ between men and women. Due to the pronounced sex/gender disparity, considering sex/ gender may be necessary for the diagnosis and treatment of liver cancer. By analyzing research articles through a PubMed literature search, the present review identified 12 genes which showed practical relevance to cancer and sex disparities. Among the 12 sex-specific genes, 7 genes (BAP1, CTNNB1, FOXA1, GSTO1, GSTP1, IL6, and SRPK1) showed sex-biased function in liver cancer. Here we summarized previous findings of cancer molecular signature including our own analysis, and showed that sexbiased molecular signature CTNNB1High , IL6High , RHOAHigh and GLIPR1Low may serve as a female-specific index for prediction and evaluation of OS in liver cancer patients. This review suggests a potential implication of sex-biased molecular signature in liver cancer, providing a useful information on diagnosis and prediction of disease progression based on gender.


Liver cancer; Sex/gender; Overall survival; Gene expression; Molecular signature
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