Drug Discov Ther. 2014;8(3):102-109. (DOI: 10.5582/ddt.2014.01026)

Perspectives on a combined test of multi serum biomarkers in China: Towards screening for and diagnosing hepatocellular carcinoma at an earlier stage.

Zhang KM, Song PP, Gao JJ, Li GH, Zhao X, Zhang SG


China has 50% of the worldwide hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cases, and the HBV-related cases accounts for approximately 85%. Over the past few decades, although a series of standardized management methods for HCC has been implemented in China, most HCC patient in China still suffered from advanced-stage disease, in consequence, reducing the opportunity of curable treatment that can be offered to achieve long-term disease-free survival for HCC patient. Accordingly, strategies including screening and diagnose HCC at an earlier stage are urgently needed in China. In this study, the current status, challenges, and prospects of early detection of HCC in China have been analyzed. The result indicated the need for using multi serum biomarkers for early HCC detection. During the past ten years, the research on the clinical usefulness of novel serum biomarkers of des-γ-carboxy-prothrombin (DCP), Dickkopf-1 (DKK1) and Midkine (MDK) in early HCC detection for Chinese patients found that the novel serum biomarker can complete the measurement of α-fetoprotein (AFP) in the diagnosis process of HCC, particularly for the patient with negative AFP with/or at an early stage. More large-scale, multi-center studies are expected to be performed in China to provide further evidence, and using novel and reliable serum biomarkers to complement AFP as a new trend is expected to be extensively used in clinical practice to facilitate early detection for those patients with HCC in China.

KEYWORDS: α-Fetoprotein (AFP), des-γ-carboxyprothrombin (DCP), HCC, sensitivity, tumor marker

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