Des-gamma-carboxyprothrombin in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and liver cirrhosis

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To ascertain serum and tissue expression of des-gamma-carboxyprothrombin (DCP) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and liver cirrhosis and clarify the relationship between DCP expression and prognosis.

METHODS:

Expression of DCP in tissues was evaluated with immunohistochemical staining using anti-DCP antibody in 74 patients with a single primary HCC nodule and liver cirrhosis. Their serum DCP levels were determined using an enzyme immunoassay with a double antibody sandwich system.

RESULTS:

Positive DCP expression in cancerous and non-cancerous tissues was related to a worse prognosis for patients with HCC and liver cirrhosis. The combined evaluation of tissue DCP expression and serum DCP level showed that prognosis was the worst for patients with positive tissue DCP expression and a high serum DCP level. Univariate analysis indicated that a lower 5-year survival rate was significantly correlated with positive tissue DCP expression, a high serum DCP level and the combined factor of positive tissue DCP expression and a high serum DCP level. Multivariate analysis indicated that the combined factor of positive tissue DCP expression and a high serum DCP level was a significant prognostic factor.

CONCLUSION:

The combined evaluation of tissue DCP expression and serum DCP level is more useful than either factor alone in predicting prognosis for patients with HCC and liver cirrhosis.

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