Purpose: Cirrhosis is a major risk factor for the development of hepatocellular carcinoma but remains underdiagnosed in the compensated stage. Fibrosis progression and cirrhosis are associated with changes in blood serum glycomic profiles. Previously, the serum glycomics-based GlycoCirrhoTest was shown to identify 50% to 70% of compensated cirrhosis cases in chronic liver disease cohorts, at >90% specificity. This study assessed GlycoCirrhoTest for the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma development in compensated cirrhosis.
Experimental Design: Serum glycomics were analyzed in sera of 133 patients, with compensated cirrhosis collected between 1995 and 2005 in a surveillance protocol for hepatocellular carcinoma using an optimized glycomic technology on a DNA sequencer.
Results: Baseline GlycoCirrhoTest values were significantly increased in patients who developed hepatocellular carcinoma after a median follow-up of 6.4 years as compared with patients who did not. For patients with a baseline GlycoCirrhoTest exceeding 0.2, the HR for hepatocellular carcinoma development over the entire study (Cox regression) was 5.1 [95% confidence interval (CI), 2.2–11.7; P < 0.001], and the HR for hepatocellular carcinoma development within 7 years was 12.1 (95% CI, 2.8–51.6; P = 0.01) based on the cut-off value optimized in the same cohort. An absolute increase in GlycoCirrhoTest of 0.2 was associated with an HR of 10.29 (95% CI, 3.37–31.43; P < 0.001) for developing hepatocellular carcinoma. In comparison, the HR for the development of hepatocellular carcinoma within 7 years for AFP levels above the optimal cutoff in this study (5.75 ng/mL) was 4.65 (95% CI, 1.59–13.61).
Conclusions: This prognostic study suggests that GlycoCirrhoTest is a serum biomarker that identifies compensated cirrhotic patients at risk for developing hepatocellular carcinoma. Screening strategies could be guided by a positive test on GlycoCirrhoTest. Clin Cancer Res; 1–9. ©2016 AACR.
- Received June 16, 2016.
- Revision received November 20, 2016.
- Accepted November 30, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.