Early diagnosis of hepatocellullar carcinoma (HCC) remains a challenge. The current practice of serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) measurement is inadequate. Here we utilized a proteomic approach to identify novel serum biomarkers for distinguishing HCC patients from non-cancer controls. We profiled the serum proteins in a group of 58 resectable HCC patients and 11 non-HCC chronic hepatitis B (HBV) carrier samples from the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) using the RayBio L-Series 507 Antibody Array and found 113 serum markers that were significantly modulated between HCC and control groups. Selected potential biomarkers from this list were quantified using a multiplex sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) array in an expanded SGH cohort (126 resectable HCC patients and 115 non-HCC chronic HBV carriers (NC group)), confirming that serum prolactin and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) were significantly upregulated in HCC patients. This finding of serum MCP-1 elevation in HCC patients was validated in a separate cohort of serum samples from the Mochtar Riady Institute for Nanotechnology, Indonesia (98 resectable HCC, 101 chronic hepatitis B patients and 100 asymptomatic HBV/HCV carriers) by sandwich ELISA. MCP-1 and prolactin levels were found to correlate with AFP, while MCP-1 also correlated with disease stage. Subsequent receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis of AFP, prolactin and MCP-1 in the SGH cohort and comparing their area under the ROC curve (AUC) indicated that neither prolactin nor MCP-1 on their own performed better than AFP. However, the combination of AFP+MCP-1 (AUC, 0.974) had significantly superior discriminative ability than AFP alone (AUC, 0.942; p<0.001). In conclusion, prolactin and MCP-1 are overexpressed in HCC and are conveniently quantifiable in patients' sera by ELISA. MCP-1 appears to be a promising complementary biomarker for HCC diagnosis and this MCP-1+AFP model should be further evaluated as potential biomarker on a larger scale in patients at-risk of HCC. © 2013 Wang et al.
W.-W., W., S.F., A., R., K., C., H., A., U., N.P., T., … C.K., T. (2013). Identification of Serum Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein-1 and Prolactin as Potential Tumor Markers in Hepatocellular Carcinoma. PLoS ONE. H. C. Toh, Department of Medical Oncology, National Cancer Centre Singapore, Singapore, Singapore. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org: Public Library of Science (185 Berry Street, Suite 1300, San Francisco CA 94107, United States). Retrieved from http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchObjectAttachment.action