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, 33 (3), 250-7

Serum KL-6 as a Novel Tumor Marker for Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Hepatitis C Virus Infected Patients

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Serum KL-6 as a Novel Tumor Marker for Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Hepatitis C Virus Infected Patients

Masayuki Kurosaki et al. Hepatol Res.

Abstract

The up-regulation of MUC1 protein is associated with malignant phenotype of cancer. We investigated the significance of KL-6, one of the MUC1 antigens, as a tumor marker in hepatitis C virus positive hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Serum KL-6 was determined in 203 patients with chronic hepatitis (CH), 47 patients with liver cirrhosis (LC) and 78 patients with HCC. KL-6 was higher in HCC compared to non-HCC (p=0.0005) and was higher in patients with multiple HCC nodules compared to a single nodule (p=0.02). There was no correlation between KL-6 and existent tumor markers for HCC such as alpha-fetoprotein, lens culinaris agglutinin-reactive alpha-fetoprotein or des-gamma-carboxyprothrombin. In the prospective analysis, the cumulative incidence of HCC was significantly greater in CH and LC patients with high initial KL-6 (above 400U/ml) compared to the others (p=0.02). Moreover, in the prospective observation of 25 patients whose HCC was completely cured by radiofrequency ablation therapy, the cumulative incidence of distant recurrences was significantly greater in patients with high initial KL-6 compared to the others (p=0.005). These results suggest that serum KL-6 could be a novel tumor marker in the diagnosis and the prediction of prognosis of HCC that may have additive value to the existent markers.

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