Assessment of prognostic and diagnostic value of some biomarkers in hepatocellular carcinoma

Exp Oncol. 2020 Sep;42(3):208-214. doi: 10.32471/exp-oncology.2312-8852.vol-42-no-3.15125.


Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is an increasing problem worldwide. Determining a prognosis is important for the management of HCC.

Aim: We aimed to investigate the impact of interleukin (IL)-29, galectin-3, leptin, fibronectin and protease-activated receptor-1 on the prognosis and diagnosis of patients with HCC.

Materials and methods: 60 HCC patients (75% male) and 20 healthy volunteers (70% male) were enrolled in this prospective study. Serum samples were obtained during the first admission before any adjuvant or metastatic treatments were administered. Serum biomarkers were determined using ELISA kits.

Results: All patients had cirrhosis, and the Child - Pugh stages were as follows: 61.5% Child - Pugh A, 35.9% Child - Pugh B and 2.6% Child - Pugh C (61.7% hepatitis B virus, 11.7% hepatitis C virus, 6.7% hepatitis B virus + hepatitis C virus, 11.7% alcoholic and 8.3% cryptogenic). Fifty-three percent of the HCC patients died within a median of 7.5 months. The mean serum level of IL-29 in patients with HCC was higher than that in the control group (32.55 pg/ml vs 11.46 pg/ml, p < 0.015). Galectin-3 levels were significantly higher in the HCC group (6.7 ng/ml vs 1.38 ng/ml, p < 0.001). Fibronectin levels were higher in the control group than in the HCC group (260 635 ng/ml vs 257 353 ng/ml). However, the mean protease-activated receptor-1 and leptin levels were similar between the two groups (p > 0.05). The biomarkers were divided into two groups according to their median level. In the log rank analysis, biomarkers had no effect on survival (p > 0.05).

Conclusions: IL-29 and galectin-3 levels were significantly higher in HCC patients. Although IL-29 and galectin-3 can be used as diagnostic markers for HCC, they had no prognostic value in HCC patients.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor*
  • Blood Chemical Analysis
  • Blood Proteins
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / blood
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / etiology
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / mortality
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Galectins / blood
  • Humans
  • Interferons / blood
  • Interleukins / blood
  • Liquid Biopsy / methods
  • Liver Neoplasms / blood
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Liver Neoplasms / etiology
  • Liver Neoplasms / mortality
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • ROC Curve
  • Survival Rate


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Blood Proteins
  • Galectins
  • IFNL1 protein, human
  • Interleukins
  • LGALS3 protein, human
  • Interferons