Role of tumor markers in assessment of tumor progression and prediction of outcomes in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma

Hepatol Res. 2007 Sep;37 Suppl 2:S166-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1872-034X.2007.00181.x.


The efficacies of tumor markers, alfa-fetoprotein (AFP), Lens culinaris agglutinin A-reactive fraction of alfa-fetoprotein (AFP-L3), and des-gamma-carboxy prothrombin (DCP) were evaluated for assessment of progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and patient prognosis. The prevalence of elevated levels of each tumor marker increased with progression of tumor stage for all three markers among patients with HCC. Survival was poorer among patients with elevated levels of tumor markers than among those without elevated levels.Evaluation of tumor progression with tumor markers was based only on the results of laboratory tests. The tests are objective, simple to perform, and easy to repeat, and therefore, may be useful to supplement conventional tumor staging for the evaluation of tumor progression and prediction of patient outcome.