Background/Aims: CD24 is reported to be up-regulated in the tissues of HCC patients when compared with normal liver tissues. We aim to determine whether CD24 protein is also overexpressed in the plasma of HCC patients, and its diagnostic value for HCC.
Methodology: Plasma levels of CD24 protein and AFP were measured by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in the plasma of 90 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and 30 healthy controls. The sensitivity and specificity were calculated and the relationship between the expression of CD24 and clinical pathological parameters was analyzed.
Results: Both plasma CD24 protein and AFP levels in HCC patients were higher than those in healthy controls (p<0.05). There was no correlation between plasma levels of AFP and CD24 in 90 patients with HCC (r=-0.084, p=0.430). The best cut-off value of CD24 was 3.31ng/mL, which yielded a sensitivity and specificity of 83.3% and 93.3%, respectively, for screening HCC; and plasma CD24 level was not associated with gender, age, hepatitis infection status, tumor size and histological differentiation and TNM stage (p>0.05).
Conclusions: Plasma CD24 protein might serve as a novel tumor marker in differentiating HCC patients from normal individuals as well as monitor HCC status in AFP negative HCC patients.