Usefulness of Highly Sensitive AFP-L3 and DCP in Surveillance for Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Patients with a Normal Alpha-Fetoprotein
- *Corresponding Author:
- Hie-Won Hann
Liver Disease Prevention Center
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.1025 Walnut Street
Room 906, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: January 17, 2014; Accepted Date: March 31, 2014; Published Date: April 01, 2014
Citation: Hann HW, Li D, Yamada H, Satomura S, Coben R, et al. (2014) Usefulness of Highly Sensitive AFP-L3 and DCP in Surveillance for Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Patients with a Normal Alpha-Fetoprotein. J Med Microb Diagn 3:130. doi: doi: 10.4172/2161-0703.1000130
Copyright: © 2014 Hann HW, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Background and aims: Early detection of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) is crucial for effective management. Incidence of HCC has increased in the United States largely attributed to hepatitis B and C virus. Lens culinaris agglutinin-reactive Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP-L3) and Des-Gamma-Carboxy Prothrombin (DCP) are being recognized specific biomarkers for HCC.
Methods: We measured AFP-L3 and DCP in serial serum specimens of a cohort of chronic hepatitis patients on HCC surveillance and compared these markers to abdominal imaging. Among fifty patients who developed HCC during surveillance, 30 were included in the study with available sera 1-2 years before, at diagnosis and post ablation of HCC. For controls, three consecutive annual sera were examined from 106 chronic hepatitis patients without HCC during surveillance for 5-10 years. The μTASWako i30 auto analyzer was used for the assay that utilizes the microfluidics chip based assay platform. It can fractionate AFP-L3 glycoform and calculates AFP-L3% if AFP level is ≥ 0.6 ng/mL.
Results: Combination of AFP, AFP-L3 and DCP showed high sensitivity of 83% in all patients and 75% in patients with AFP<20 ng/mL. AFP-L3 and DCP assays were useful in patients with low levels of AFP (<20 ng/mL) and could detect significant AFP-L3% elevation in some patients more than one year before the diagnosis of HCC. Furthermore, AFP-L3 predicted recurrence of HCC.
Conclusions: This is the first study in the U.S. patients using the μTASWako i30 analyzer to test these HCC biomarkers. Our results suggest that combinations of these biomarkers are highly useful for early detection of HCC.