Integrating new biomarkers – AFP-L3 and DCP for Hepatocellular Cancer surveillance

As hepatologist we know that the major cause of mortality in cirrhosis is Hepatocellular cancer (HCC). Other events that to lead to death in these patients are – upper GI bleed from varices, sepsis from spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (infection of the belly fluid), hepatorenal syndrome leading to renal failure.

To detect HCC, I order 6 monthly US and AFP levels. However, various studies have revealed that the sensitivity is only about 40-60%, ,meaning out of 10 patients with cancer it would only detect 4, hence 6 patients would be missed.

Recently, newer biomarkers : AFP-L3 and DCP plus US, provide a sensitivity of nearly 85% . These markers also have another added advantage that they are also RISK markers, meaning a rising level is predictive of developing cancer.  AFP-L3 ratio to AFP is used as biomarker, and level >10% predicts increased risk of developing HCC.

I plan to integrate these markers in my clinical practice, and early detection of cancer.

If you wish to see me, please schedule a visit at one of the locations : 281-557-2527

  • Clear Lake Office (Wesbter)
    1015 Medical Center Blvd
    Suite 1300, Webster, TX 77598
    Phone: (281) 557-2527
  • Satellite Office 2
    7111 Medical Center Drive
    2nd Floor
    Texas City, TX 77591

 If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call my office 281-557-2527, and I would be more than happy to call you back and talk to you for free. I believe this is the least I can do to better the lives of people who are trying to find the right answers. 



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