Prognostic Value of Serum AFP, AFP-L3, and GP73 in Monitoring Short-term Treatment Response and Recurrence of Hepatocellular Carcinoma after Radiofrequency Ablation

  • Wang, Nan-Ya (Department of Cancer Center, First Hospital of Jilin University) ;
  • Wang, Cong (Department of Cancer Center, First Hospital of Jilin University) ;
  • Li, Wei (Department of Cancer Center, First Hospital of Jilin University) ;
  • Wang, Guan-Jun (Department of Cancer Center, First Hospital of Jilin University) ;
  • Cui, Guo-Zhen (Department of Cancer Center, First Hospital of Jilin University) ;
  • He, Hua (Department of Cancer Center, First Hospital of Jilin University) ;
  • Zhao, Heng-Jun (Department of Cancer Center, First Hospital of Jilin University)
  • Published : 2014.02.28


Purpose: Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), Lens culinaris agglutinin-reactive fraction of AFP (AFP-L3), and Golgi protein 73 (GP73) levels have been widely used as tumor markers for the diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The aim of this study was to investigate whether these tumor markers could be used to monitor short-term treatment response and recurrence of HCC in patients undergoing radiofrequency ablation (RFA). Methods: Between July 2012 and July 2013, 53 consecutive patients with newly diagnosed HCC were prospectively enrolled in this study. Among these, 32 patients underwent RFA, after which they were followed up prospectively at the First Hospital of Jilin University in China. Results: AFP, AFP-L3, and GP-73 values pre-RFA were not associated with tumor size, whereas AFP and GP-73 levels tended to be associated with tumor number, the presence of vascular invasion, deterioration of liver function, advanced-stage disease, and a poor performance status. GP-73 levels were dramatically elevated in the patients with hepatitis C-associated HCC. Neither pre-RFA nor 1-month post-RFA tumor marker values were associated with short-term outcome. The short-term recurrence rate of AFP-positive patients measured 1 month post-RFA was obviously higher than that of AFP-negative patients. Conclusions: AFP and GP-73 values were associated with clinical variables representing tumor growth and invasiveness, and the AFP value measured 1 month post-RFA was a strong predictor of short-term recurrence in patients with HCC.


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