Residual tumors after incomplete RFA exhibited changes consistent with EMT.

(A) Immunohistochemistry revealed that E-cadherin expression was decreased in incomplete RFA group of both HCC cell models, the expression level of N-cadherin in tumor tissues were higher in incomplete RFA group than that in controls, and in HCCLM3-G model, increased expression of vimentin was also detected in incomplete RFA group. (B) Western blot showed the changes of residual tumors were consistent with EMT in incomplete RFA group (e.g., down-regulation of E-cadherin and up-regulation of N-cadherin, vimentin) of both HCC cell models. (C) RT-PCR showed the expression of transcription factors Snail, Slug, and Twist at the mRNA level in tumor tissue. However, only Snail mRNAs in HCCLM3-G model and Slug mRNA in HepG2-G model were significantly up-regulated in incomplete RFA group, respectively (P<0.05).