Indexed on: 22 Mar '20Published on: 22 Mar '20Published in: Scientific Reports
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the second most common cause of cancer-related death worldwide. The use of alpha fetoprotein (AFP) alone was not an accurate biomarker for HCC despite its high specificity. Therefore, we assessed the possible role of serum biomarkers that have been mentioned briefly in previous studies on Egyptian patients ion top of HCV. However these studies included small number of patients and did not assess the different stages of hepatocarcinogenesis. In the current study we assessed 1) the expression levels of Golgi protein 37(GP73),Midkine (MDK) and Dickkopf-1(DKK-1) proteins separately and in combination at different stages of hepatocarcinogenesis. GP73, MDK and DKK-1 proteins were assessed in 238 individuals divided into 4 groups (HCC, chronic HCV, and chronic HCV with cirrhosis and healthy subjects as a control) Serum levels of GP73, MDK, and DKK-1 were assessed in all subjects by ELISA. Serum levels of the studied markers were significantly higher in HCC compared to other groups (p < 0.001). The ROC curve analysis for the studied markers showed 1) 88.5% sensitivity, 80.6% specificity, 69% PPV, 93.5% NPV and (AUC 0.91)for MDK; 2) 93.6%, 86.9%, 77.7%, 96.5% for DKK-1. 3) 91%, 85%, 74.7%, 95% (AUC 0.96) for GP73 and 4) 74.4%, 84.4%, 69.9%, 87.1% (AUC 0.81) for AFP. Serum levels of GP73, MDK, and DKK-1 are comparable to AFP as promising predictor biomarkers for HCC patients from Egypt. A two markers panel including Gp73 and DKK-1 showed the highest specificity and sensitivity among different markers combinations.