JUL 14, 2016 6:00 AM PDT

Innovations in Hepatology: Biomarkers for Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Surveillance and Management of patients with Chronic Liver Disease

  • Amit G Singal, MD, MS

    Chair of Gastroenterology Fellowship Research Committee, Associate Professor of Clinical Science, UT Southwestern Medical Center


Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC), the third leading cause of global cancer mortality, continues to be a substantial burden to health systems, society and individuals at risk. Although prognosis is poor among most patients with HCC, with 5-year survival rates below 10%, frequent monitoring of at-risk patients is associated with improved early detection and survival rates. Patients with cirrhosis from any cause, including chronic hepatitis C, hepatitis B, and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, may benefit from screening regimens, such as ultrasonography and serum biomarker monitoring. To date, abdominal ultrasound with or without alpha fetoprotein (AFP) is the preferred method for HCC screening in high-risk patients.

Despite the relative low cost and non-invasive nature of these techniques, there is a potential opportunity to improve sensitivity and specificity of HCC detection by leveraging newly available serum biomarkers. PIVKA-II, also known as DCP, is a modified prothrombin that lacks the activity of interacting with other coagulation factors and is expressed in HCC cells. PIVKA-II has been used alongside ultrasound and AFP for HCC screening programs and HCC diagnosis in certain geographies (i.e. Japan).

During this webinar we will review the epidemiological and clinical landscape of hepatocellular carcinoma. We will discuss current challenges and opportunities in HCC surveillance and patient management, including the role of biomarkers, including AFP and PIVKA-II.

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