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Alpha-fetoprotein-L3 and Golgi protein 73 may serve as candidate biomarkers for diagnosing alpha-fetoprotein-negative hepatocellular carcinoma

Authors Zhang Z, Zhang Y, Wang Y, Xu L, Xu W

Received 18 June 2015

Accepted for publication 9 November 2015

Published 31 December 2015 Volume 2016:9 Pages 123—129

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S90732

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Liying Geng

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Dr Faris Farassati


Zhiguo Zhang,1 Yanying Zhang,2 Yeying Wang,1 Lingling Xu,3 Wanju Xu3

1Department of Clinical Laboratory, Zhangqiu Maternity and Child Care Hospital, Zhangqiu, 2Department of Clinical Laboratory, Zaozhuang City Wangkai Infection Hospital, Zaozhuang, 3Department of Clinical Laboratory, Qianfoshan Hospital, Jinan, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Currently, there is no reliable biomarker for use in diagnosing alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)-negative hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Such a biomarker would aid in making an early diagnosis of AFP-negative HCC, ensuring the timely initiation of treatment. This study examined AFP-L3 and Golgi protein 73 (GP73) as candidate biomarkers for AFP-negative HCC. The affinity adsorption method and enzyme-linked immunoassays were separately used to determine serum levels of AFP-L3 and GP73 in 50 patients with AFP-negative HCC, 30 non-HCC patients, and 50 healthy subjects. Fifty percent of patients with AFP-negative HCC tested positive for AFP-L3, while 3.33% of non-HCC patients and 2.00% of healthy subjects were AFP-L3 positive. Patients with AFP-negative HCC had significantly higher serum levels of AFP-L3 compared to non-HCC patients and healthy individuals; however, there was no significant difference in the AFP-L3 levels of non-HCC patients and healthy subjects. Sixty-six percent of patients with AFP-negative HCC tested positive for GP73, while 10% of non-HCC patients and 0% of healthy subjects were GP73-positive. Patients with AFP-negative HCC had significantly higher serum levels of GP73 compared to non-HCC patients and healthy subjects, but there was no significant difference between the GP73 levels of non-HCC patients and healthy individuals. Moreover, 20 patients with AFP-negative HCC were both AFP-L3- and GP73-positive, while no non-HCC patients or healthy subjects tested positive for both markers. Either AFP-L3 or GP73 may be used as a biomarker for diagnosing AFP-negative HCC, while their combined use provides improved diagnostic accuracy and greater sensitivity.

Keywords: liver cancer, AFP-negative HCC, AFP-L3, GP73, AFP
 

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