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More Reliable Biomarkers Needed for Early Detection of Liver Cancer
Date:2/25/2010

d lead author of the study published in the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute.

The study analyzed the use of des-gamma-carboxy prothrombin (DCP) and the most widely used biomarker, alpha fetoprotein (AFP). Biomarkers are found in patient's blood and are used to indicate whether a disease or condition is present.

Liver cancer is the sixth most common malignancy, with 22,620 Americans expected to be diagnosed this year. The incidence of HCC in the United States is increasing and is largely attributed to hepatitis C.

"Most surprising was the finding that patient demographics influenced both des-gamma-carboxy prothrombin and alpha fetoprotein values, but in opposite directions," said Lok, who also is the University of Michigan's Alice Lohrman Andrews Research Professor in Hepatology. "This observation merits further investigation, as it might impact the accuracy of these biomarkers in the detection of liver cancer in men versus women and in patients of various races and ethnicity."

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SOURCE University of Michigan Health System
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