Diagnostic Value of Glypican-3 for Hepatocellular Carcinomas

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tanta, Egypt.

2 Fakeeh College for Medical Sciences, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

3 Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tanta, Egypt.

4 Faculty of Dentistry, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

5 Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tanta, Egypt.

6 Department of Clinical Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tanta, Egypt.

7 Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

8 Tanta Fever Hospital, Tanta, Egypt.


Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common and dangerous malignancy in many parts of the world,
and especially in Egypt. Early diagnosis is the most important step in successful HCC management. However most
cases are detected at late stage making effective intervention impossible. Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate
the potential of Glypican-3 (GPC-3) to aid in diagnosis of HCC, especially in patients with low serum alpha-fetoprotein
(AFP). Subjects and methods: Serum GPC-3 was assessed by flow-cytometry and serum AFP by enzyme-linked
immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in 40 HCC patients with AFP< 400ug\l. (GI), 40 HCC patients with AFP> 400ug\l.
(GII) and 20 healthy controls (GIII). Results: GPC-3 was found to be significantly elevated in HCC as compared to
healthy subjects (GI 38.2±22. 5, GII 50.2±22.6, and GIII 2.24±1.19), with sensitivities of 85% for GI and 84% for GII
and specificities of 95% for GI and 92% for GII. AFP showed respective sensitivities of 50% and 79%, and specificities
of 80% and 90%, for HCC diagnosis. The combination of GPC-3 with AFP achieved the highest sensitivity (98.5%) and
specificity (97.8%). Conclusion: Serum GPC-3 has a better sensitivity than AFP for the diagnosis of HCC. Combination
of two markers appears warranted for greatest accuracy


Main Subjects

Volume 19, Issue 3
March 2018
Pages 811-817
  • Receive Date: 16 October 2017
  • Revise Date: 17 December 2017
  • Accept Date: 29 January 2018
  • First Publish Date: 01 March 2018