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Clin Chim Acta. 2018 Mar;478:18-27. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2017.12.017. Epub 2017 Dec 15.

Angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) is a useful serum tumor marker for liver cancer in the Chinese population.

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Department of Clinical Laboratory, Shanghai Tenth People's Hospital of Tongji University, Shanghai 200072, China.
Department of Geriatrics, Zhong Da Hospital of Southeast University, Nanjing 210009, China.
Department of Pathology, Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510120, China.
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Shanghai Children's Medical Center, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200127,China.
College of Allied Health Professions, Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences, 279 Zhouzhu Highway, Pudong New Area, Shanghai 201318, China. Electronic address:
Department of Clinical Laboratory, Shanghai Cancer Center, Fudan University, China; Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical School, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China.. Electronic address:
Department of Clinical Laboratory, Shanghai Tenth People's Hospital of Tongji University, Shanghai 200072, China. Electronic address:



We estimated the diagnostic and prognostic value of serum angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) in liver cancer patients.


Tissue Ang-2 was measured using immunohistochemistry (IHC). Cell localization of Ang-2 was tested using immunofluorescence (IF). Cell viability and apoptosis were evaluated using MTT and caspase3/7 assays, respectively. Colony-formation was measured using a soft agar assay. Serum Ang-2 was examined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Western blotting.


Ang-2 was up-regulated in liver cancer compared to the levels in normal tissues. Serum Ang-2 concentrations were much higher in liver cancer patients than in healthy individuals and those with chronic liver disease (CLD). Inhibitions of Ang-2 using specific shRNA decreased cell proliferation. Serum Ang-2 decreased significantly after surgery. Serum Ang-2 was positively correlated with serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP; R=0.375, P=0.005). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves suggested that serum Ang-2 could be used with relatively high sensitivity and specificity in differentiating liver cancer patients from CLD patients or healthy controls, with corresponding AUC values of 0.742 and 0.924, respectively. Serum Ang-2 was negatively correlated with overall survival. Subgroup analysis also showed that Ang-2 retained its prognostic value in overall survival prediction in different risk subgroups.


Serum Ang-2 may be a useful tumor marker in predicting liver cancer prognosis.


Ang-2; Liver cancer; Liver function; Overall survival; Tumor marker

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