Purpose: Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), Lens culinaris agglutinin-reactive fraction of AFP (AFP-L3), and Golgiprotein 73 (GP73) levels have been widely used as tumor markers for the diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma(HCC). The aim of this study was to investigate whether these tumor markers could be used to monitor short-termtreatment response and recurrence of HCC in patients undergoing radiofrequency ablation (RFA).
Methods:Between July 2012 and July 2013, 53 consecutive patients with newly diagnosed HCC were prospectively enrolledin this study. Among these, 32 patients underwent RFA, after which they were followed up prospectively at theFirst Hospital of Jilin University in China.
Results: AFP, AFP-L3, and GP-73 values pre-RFA were not associatedwith tumor size, whereas AFP and GP-73 levels tended to be associated with tumor number, the presence ofvascular invasion, deterioration of liver function, advanced-stage disease, and a poor performance status. GP-73levels were dramatically elevated in the patients with hepatitis C-associated HCC. Neither pre-RFA nor 1-monthpost-RFA tumor marker values were associated with short-term outcome. The short-term recurrence rate ofAFP-positive patients measured 1 month post-RFA was obviously higher than that of AFP-negative patients.
Conclusions: AFP and GP-73 values were associated with clinical variables representing tumor growth andinvasiveness, and the AFP value measured 1 month post-RFA was a strong predictor of short-term recurrencein patients with HCC.