Document Type: Research Articles
Theodore Bilharz Research Institute (TBRI), Cairo University,Giza, Egypt.
Faculty of Biotechnology, October University of Modern Sciences and Arts, Egypt.
Theodore Bilharz Research Institute El-Warrak, Embaba Giza, Egypt.
4National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Institute (NHTMRI), Egypt.
National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.
Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a high incidence disease in Egypt with a poor prognosis and
survival. Biomarkers are important for diagnosis of HCC at an early stage. Osteopontin (OPN), a glycoprotein secreted by
macrophages, osteoblasts, and T cells, is also highly expressed in a variety of tumors, such as examples in the breast, colon,
and stomach. The present study aimed to correlate the serum level of OPN in HCV-positive hepatocellular carcinoma
patients, with OPN expression in tumor and non-tumor liver tissues in order to identify its efficacy as a biomarker
for diagnosis. Material and Methods: Out of total of 146 patients, 80 were selected for inclusion in the study. Blood
samples as well as specimens of tumor and non-tumor liver tissue were collected. In addition, blood samples from 20
healthy volunteers were obtained as controls. Serum OPN and alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) were evaluated by ELISA for
HCC and control groups. OPN and AFP gene expression were examined by real-time PCR, after homogenization and
DNA extraction from serum samples and liver tissues. Results: It was found that serum OPN levels were significantly
higher in the HCC group compared to normal group (P=0.009), with a strong positive correlation with AFP expression.
However, there was no significant difference between OPN expression in tumor and non-tumor liver tissue. Conclusion:
Serum OPN is highly suggested to be a professional candidate for HCC early diagnosis, with a diagnostic ability and
accuracy equal or higher than for AFP.