Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Proteomics Prove Accurate in Identifying Liver Cancer, Study Suggests

Date:
January 16, 2008
Source:
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Summary:
A novel mass-spectrometry based form of proteomic profiling is more accurate than traditional biomarkers in distinguishing liver cancer patients from patients with hepatitis C liver cirrhosis, particularly with regard to identifying patients with small, curable tumors.

As the incidence of liver cancer continues to grow-- fueled in large part, by rising rates of hepatitis C infections -- so too does the need for tests to help diagnose the disease at an earlier stage. A study appearing in the January 15 issue of Clinical Cancer Research demonstrates that a novel mass-spectrometry based form of proteomic profiling is more accurate than traditional biomarkers in distinguishing liver cancer patients from patients with hepatitis C liver cirrhosis, particularly with regard to identifying patients with small, curable tumors. Led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), the study could help lead to earlier diagnostic methods -- and subsequent treatments -- for liver cancer.

Related Articles


"Proteomics represents a potentially powerful tool for the serologic recognition of protein profiles associated with cancer," explains co-senior author Towia Libermann, PhD, Director of the Genomics Center at BIDMC and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

"Although this particular proteomics technology, SELDI-TOF MS [surface enhanced laser desorption/ionization time of flight mass spectrometry] had already proven capable of identifying liver cancer in some limited studies, this was the first time that the technology was compared side-by-side with the clinical standard biomarker in a cohort of patients at risk for developing the disease," adds Liebermann, who is also Director of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Proteomics Core in the Division of Interdisciplinary Medicine and Biotechnology at BIDMC.

Over a single decade, the incidence of liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) increased from 1.8 to 2.5 per 100,000 patients, in large part due to a rise in the spread of hepatitis C virus.

"Hepatitis C has become a tremendous public health problem," explains co-senior author Nezam Afdhal, MD, Director of the Liver Center at BIDMC and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "And a significant number of hepatitis C-infected patients will go on to develop liver cirrhosis." Cirrhosis results when healthy tissue is replaced by scar tissue, preventing the liver from properly functioning. Cirrhosis itself is responsible for more than 25,000 deaths each year. But, adds Afdhal, secondarily, cirrhosis greatly increases a person's chances of developing liver cancer.

"Each year, cirrhosis patients have a two to five percent chance that their condition will escalate to cancer," he explains. "And the problem is that, right now, there is no reliable means of detecting liver cancer at an early stage, when surgical treatment is an option. Typically by the time the disease is discovered, the cancer has advanced and treatment options become much more limited."

The best hope for early detection is cancer biomarkers, serum proteins found in altered amounts in blood or other body fluids. The current biomarker for liver cancer in clinical use is alpha fetoprotein (AFP). In many cases, patients with hepatitis C undergo routine monitoring for AFP levels as an indicator of whether tumors may have developed in their livers.

But, as Libermann explains, the AFP biomarker has a number of shortcomings, including false positives and false negatives. "AFP not only fails to detect many early tumors, but it also lacks specificity. Consequently, elevated AFP levels could be indicators of not only cancer, but also of other liver diseases or even benign conditions, while on the other hand, many patients with small tumors will test negative for AFP."

The authors, therefore, decided to evaluate the sensitivy and specificity of SELDI-TOF MS for the detection of liver cancer and to compare its effectiveness with AFP.

Examining serum samples of 92 patients -- including 51 patients with liver cirrhosis and 41 patients with liver cancer, and among the cancer patients, individuals with both large and small (less than 2 cm) tumors -- by SELDI-TOF mass spectrometry, the investigators were able to identify an 11-protein signature that accurately discriminated between the cirrhosis and cancer patients, first in a training set (made up of 26 cirrhosis and 20 liver cancer patients), and then again in an independent validation set (consisting of 25 cirrhosis and 19 liver cancer patients). The resulting diagnostic value -- 74 percent sensitivity and 88 percent specificity -- compared favorably with the diagnostic accuracy of AFP (73 percent sensitivity and 71 percent specificity) as well as with two other biomarkers currently in clinical development for liver cancer, AFP-L3 and PIVKA-IL.

"Most strikingly," notes Libermann, "in patients with small tumors (less than 2 cm), where AFP identified only three, and AFP-L3 and PIVKA-II only one each, the 11-protein signature correctly identified seven of eight patients at this early stage of disease.

"Biomarkers play a major role in all aspects of personalized medicine, not only in early disease detection, but also in outcome prediction and evaluation of therapeutic responses," he adds. "This study provides strong evidence that serum contains early detection biomarkers and supports the notion that a combination of multiple biomarkers may prove more effective than individual biomarkers for diagnosis of liver cancer, as well as other cancers."

This study was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

In addition to Libermann and Afdhal, study coauthors include BIDMC investigators Noah Zinkin MD, and Franck Grall, PhD, (joint first authors), Killimanagalam Bhaskar, MD, Hasan Otu, PhD, Dimitrios Spentzos, MD, Brett Kalmowitz, MD, Meghan Wells, Manuel Guerrero, BSc, and John Asara, PhD.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. "Proteomics Prove Accurate in Identifying Liver Cancer, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080115085354.htm>.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. (2008, January 16). Proteomics Prove Accurate in Identifying Liver Cancer, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080115085354.htm
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. "Proteomics Prove Accurate in Identifying Liver Cancer, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080115085354.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins