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Liver Cancer. 2015 Mar;4(2):126-36. doi: 10.1159/000367735.

Tumor Markers for Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Simple and Significant Predictors of Outcome in Patients with HCC.

Author information

1
Department of Gastroenterology, Ogaki Municipal Hospital, Gifu, Japan.
2
Radiology, Ogaki Municipal Hospital, Gifu, Japan.
3
Surgery, Ogaki Municipal Hospital, Gifu, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The effectiveness of tumor markers in evaluating outcomes of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains to be clarified.

SUMMARY:

The usefulness of the HCC tumor markers, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), Lens culinaris agglutinin-reactive fraction of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP-L3), and des-gamma-carboxy prothrombin (DCP) was reviewed. Elevations in these tumor markers at the time of HCC diagnosis correlate with disease progression as assessed by both imaging studies and pathologic examinations. The combination of these three tumor markers results in good predictive ability for patient survival after diagnosis. In addition, combination at the time of HCC diagnosis of these three tumor markers (as a measure of tumor progression) and serum albumin and bilirubin levels (as indicators of remnant liver function) can be used for HCC staging and further predicts prognosis in patients with HCC.

KEY MESSAGE:

The prognosis of patients with HCC can be well discriminated based solely on serum markers. Staging of HCC with serum markers is objective; if stored serum samples are available, HCC stages can be standardized across different countries and time periods.

KEYWORDS:

Alpha-fetoprotein; Des-gamma-carboxy prothrombin; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Lens culinaris agglutinin-reactive fraction of alpha-fetoprotein; Prognosis

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