Purpose: To explore the clinical significance of changes in alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), HIV-1 TAT interactive protein 2/TAT interactive protein 30 (HTATIP2/TIP30), B7-H4 and inflammatory cytokines after transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE).
Methods: A total of 84 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients admitted to the Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery and the Department of Interventional Radiology of our hospital from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018 were randomly enrolled and divided into an experimental group and a control group according to treatment methods. The expression levels of AFP mRNA, HTATIP2/TIP30, B7-H4 and inflammatory cytokines were detected before and after treatment, the short-term efficacy was followed up and analyzed, and the correlation between the two was statistically analyzed.
Results: The AFP expression level in the two groups of patients was lower after treatment than before treatment, this reduction being more obvious in the experimental group (receiving TACE) than in the control group. Although the levels of serum HTATIP2/TIP30 and B7-H4 were decreased after treatment in both groups, and they were lower after treatment than those before treatment in the control group, lower levels were registered in the control group. Both groups of patients had lower expression levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) after treatment compared with those before treatment, this decrease being more significant in the experimental group than in the control group. Moreover, the total short-term efficacy rate and the improvement rate of the quality of life were higher in the experimental group than in the control group, although no statistical difference in the survival rate was found between the two groups after 1-year follow-up. The serum level of B7-H4 in the group with good efficacy was lower than in the group with poor efficacy before treatment, and it declined in both groups after treatment, with a lower level in the former than in the latter. Furthermore, the group with good efficacy had a lower level of serum HTATIP2/TIP30 than the group with poor efficacy, while both groups had a decreased level after treatment, with a lower level in the former than in the latter.
Conclusion: Interventional therapy for primary HCC has good short-term efficacy. It can reduce the levels of serum HTATIP2/TIP30, B7-H4, AFP and inflammation-related indexes, improve the liver function and the patients' quality of life.