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Eur J Clin Chem Clin Biochem. 1996 Jul;34(7):555-60.

Cathepsin D serum mass concentrations in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and/or liver cirrhosis.

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Servizio di Chemioterapia, Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia, Università di Palermo, Italy.


Cathepsin D serum mass concentrations were determined by enzyme immunoassay in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (n = 51) and/or liver cirrhosis (n = 92) or benign steatosis (n = 16) and correlated with some biochemical and clinical properties of these diseases. Increased cathepsin D serum mass concentrations (P < 0.001) were observed in all these groups of patients as compared to normal subjects (n = 98). However, patients with steatosis had serum mass concentrations of this enzyme significantly lower (mean 2-3 fold) than those measured in cancer patients (P < 0.05) or cirrhotic patients (P < 0.001). Interestingly, significantly higher cathepsin D serum mass concentrations (mean + 62%) (P < 0.006) were determined in the cirrhosis group as compared to cancer patients. No correlation between cathepsin D and a number of clinical and biochemical properties examined, namely, alpha-foetoprotein, number of neoplastic lesions and tumour size in cancer patients or, Child-Pugh grade of severity of cirrhosis and other enzymes of liver function tests in the cirrhotic group was found. The present data and those from other studies which indicate that cathepsin D may be involved in carcinogenesis suggest that this enzyme may be potentially useful as an additional biochemical marker to identify cirrhotic patients who may develop precancerous hepatic nodules.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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