Diagnostic Performance of Circulating Tumor Cells for Predicting of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Hepatitis C Virus-High Risk Patients: Role of Liquid Biopsy

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Chemistry Department, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt.

2 Endemic Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt.

3 Chemistry Department, Damietta University, Damietta, Egypt.

4 Environmental and Occupational Medicine Department, National Research Center, Giza, Egypt.


Purpose: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a primary malignancy of the liver and a global health problem. It is often diagnosed at advanced stage where hopeless for effective therapies. Identification of more reliable biomarkers for early detection of HCC is urgently needed. circulating tumor cells (CTCs) represent a unique liquid biopsy carrying comprehensive biological information of the primary tumor. Herein, we sought to develop a novel score based on the combination of the most significant CTCs biomarkers with and routine laboratory tests for accurate detection of HCC. Methods: Cytokeratin 18 (CK18), Cytokeratin 19 (CK19), albumin, platelets count, and α-fetoprotein were assayed in HCC patients (42), liver cirrhosis patients (83) and healthy control (20). Results: Areas under receiving operating curve (AUCs) were calculated and used for construction on novel score. A novel score named HCC-CTCs = AFP (U/L) × 0.08 - Albumin (g/dl) × 84 + CK 18 % × 2.9 + CK19 × 3.1- Platelets count (×109)/L× 0.75– 510. HCC-CTCs score produce AUC of 1 for differentiate patients with HCC from those with liver cirrhosis with sensitivity and specificity of a cut-off 0. Conclusions: HCC-CTCs score could replace AFP during screening of HCV patients and early detection of HCC.


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