Reuters Health Information (2008-02-01): Proteomic profiling helps identify patients with liver cancer
Proteomic profiling helps identify patients with liver cancer
Last Updated: 2008-02-01 17:07:13 -0400 (Reuters Health)
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Proteomic profiling using surface enhanced laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (SELDI-TOF-MS) can accurately identify liver cancer, Boston-based researchers report in the January issue of Clinical Cancer Research.
"The most exciting aspect of our findings," senior investigator Dr. Nezham H. Afdhal told Reuters Health, "is that SELDI-TOF-MS was better able to detect small early hepatocellular carcinoma compared to other routine clinical blood tests, leading to a potential for improved clinical outcomes."
Dr. Afdhal of Harvard Institutes of Medicine and colleagues examined sera from 41 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and 51 with hepatitis C cirrhosis.
The team identified an 11-peak algorithm for cancer detection. Using the established alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) biomarker cutoff, the new approach had a sensitivity of 73% and a specificity of 71%. Using the AFP-L3 cutoff, corresponding values were 63% and 94%. When the PIVKA-11 cutoff was employed, the figures were 84% and 69%.
Overall, SELDI-TOF-MS had a sensitivity of 79% and a specificity of 88% and was predictive of hepatocellular carcinoma independently of the traditional biomarkers.
Moreover, in the eight patients with tumors greater than 2 cm, SELDI-TOF-MS identified seven, whereas AFP identified only three and AFP-L3 identified only one, as did PIVKA II.
The results appear promising and are line with those of other researchers, but "these findings need to be reproduced in larger clinical cohorts and then evaluated in prospective screening trials," concluded Dr. Afdhal.
Clin Cancer Res 2008;14.