Indexed on: 19 Oct '13Published on: 19 Oct '13Published in: Oncology letters
Golgi protein 73 (GP73) is a resident Golgi type II transmembrane protein that has been reported to markedly increase in chronic liver disease, particularly in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, it remains unclear as to whether serum GP73 represents a reliable serum marker for the diagnosis of HCC. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the diagnostic value of serum GP73 in patients with HCC and to determine the diagnostic accuracy of measuring serum GP73 in combination with α-fetoprotein (AFP) and γ-glutamyl transferase isoenzyme II (GGT-II) in HCC. Serum GP73 was detected using a time-resolved fluorescence immunological assay (TRFIA) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in 79 HCC cases, including 16 liver cirrhosis, 30 chronic hepatitis and 28 healthy individuals. The correlation between serum GP73 and tumor size and HCC grading was analyzed and the complementary diagnostic value of serum GP73, AFP and GGT-II was evaluated. TRFIA was established for the detection of serum GP73 and was sensitive and reproducible. The expression levels of serum GP73 were markedly higher in the patients with HCC when compared with those of the individuals with liver cirrhosis and chronic hepatitis or the healthy individuals. According to the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve, diagnostic sensitivity and specificity for HCC with a cut-off value of 78.1 ng/l were 73.4 and 79.0%, respectively. However, no correlation was identified among serum GP73 and tumor size or grading, and no correlations were identified among serum GP73, AFP and GGT-II. The diagnostic sensitivities for HCC, as detected by TRFIA of GP73, AFP and GGT-II, were 73.4, 55.6 and 68.4%, respectively, and the specificities were 80.0, 86.7 and 97.1%, respectively. The combined determination of these markers increased the diagnostic sensitivity to 96.3% for HCC. TRFIA functions as a sensitive and replicable assay for the detection of serum GP73. The levels of serum GP73 were significantly higher in the HCC group when compared with the individuals with benign liver diseases. Serum GP73 may serve as a potential independent diagnostic candidate for HCC and the combined determination of serum GP73, AFP and GGT-II may increase the diagnostic efficiency of HCC.