Glypican-3, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor and Golgi Protein-73 for Differentiation between Liver Cirrhosis and Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Theodor Bilharz Research Institute, Giza, Egypt.

2 National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.


Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) accounts for more than 80% of primary liver cancers. Moreover, in the next 10 years, more than one million patients are expected to die from liver cancer as estimated by the World Health Organization. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the clinical utility of using Glypican (GPC3), Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and Golgi protein 73 (GP73) in serum by Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and by Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), as diagnostic markers to differentiate HCC from cirrhotic liver disease. Methods: A total of 50 patients with histologically-proven HCC, 50 liver cirrhosis patients and 20 healthy volunteers as controls were enrolled in this study, blood samples were obtained from each patient. Expression of the studied biomarkers was evaluated by ELISA and Real-Time PCR. Results: Statistical analysis of RT-PCR results showed that the expression of GPC3, VEGF and GP73 in serum of patients with HCC was significant (P value < 0.001, 0.01, and < 0.001) respectively and increased when compared to the cirrhotic group. Furthermore, the serum protein levels of GPC3 and VEGF in HCC and cirrhotic patients were significant when compared to the control group. While no significance was found between HCC and cirrhotic group. The serum protein level of GP73 was significantly increased in HCC and cirrhosis groups  compared to the control group (P value < 0.001). Moreover, a significant increase was  evident in HCC group compared to cirrhotic group (P value < 0.001). The results of the present study showed that the combination of VEGF and  GP73 could  discriminate HCC from cirrhosis. Conclusion: GPC3, VEGF and GP73 are reliable biomarkers for diagnosis of  HCC. The serum level of GP73 is a potential screening marker for discriminating HCC from liver cirrhosis. 


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