Golgi protein 73, not Glypican-3, may be a tumor marker complementary to α-Fetoprotein for hepatocellular carcinoma diagnosis.

Research paper by Yichen Y Wang, Huayu H Yang, Haifeng H Xu, Xin X Lu, Xinting X Sang, Shouxian S Zhong, Jiefu J Huang, Yilei Y Mao

Indexed on: 19 Nov '13Published on: 19 Nov '13Published in: Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology


This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of serum Golgi protein 73 (GP73) and Glypican-3 (GPC-3) as tumor markers for diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).A total of 257 subjects were enrolled and consisted of 61 healthy controls, 32 hepatitis B virus carriers, 80 cirrhosis patients, and 84 HCC patients. Diagnosis was performed based on established clinical procedure. Serum GP73, GPC-3, and α-fetoprotein were measured. Receiving operating characteristic (ROC) curves were plotted to determine the sensitivity and specificity of each serum marker and their combinations.Serum GP73 levels were significantly increased in HCC patients. No significant differences were observed between GP73 and α-fetoprotein (AFP) as markers for HCC diagnosis. However, GP73 was more sensitive than AFP in the diagnosis of small HCC. A combination of GP73 and AFP tests increased the sensitivity and specificity for HCC diagnosis. The area under the ROC curve (AUC) of combined test was 0.93 compared with 0.88 for GP73 and 0.90 for AFP alone. GPC-3 tests were negative in all 84 HCC patients. The AUC for GPC-3 is 0.43, indicating that serum GPC-3 was not an effective tumor marker for HCC diagnosis.Serum GP73 is a potential tumor marker for HCC diagnosis, especially for differential diagnosis of small HCC and cirrhosis. The combination of GP73 and AFP is more sensitive than AFP alone. Serum GPC-3 does not appear to be an effective tumor marker for HCC diagnosis.