|Serum levels of β-catenin as a potential marker for genotype 4/hepatitis C-associated hepatocellular carcinoma|
Authors: Abdel-Rahman N. Zekri, Abeer A. Bahnassy, Hanaa M. Alam El-Din, Heba M. Morsy, Sabry Shaarawy, Nagia Z. Moharram, Sayed S. Daoud
Affiliations: Virology and Immunology Unit, Cancer Biology Department, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Center for Integrated Biotechnology, 340D Wegner Hall, Pullman, WA 99164-6534, USA
Published online on: Tuesday, June 21, 2011
The global rising incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which parallels the increase of hepatitis C virus (HCV) prevalence, has sparked a renewed interest in discovering additional HCC serum markers. In this study, we investigated the clinical use of serum E-cadherin, ICAM, MMP-2, VEGF, OPN and β-catenin as potential diagnostic makers for HCV/genotype 4-associated HCC. Twenty cases of healthy subjects, 11 cases with asymptomatic HCV/genotype 4 carriers (ASC), 28 chronic hepatitis (CH) cases and 32 patients with HCC were enrolled in this study. Serum levels of proteins were measured by a sandwich-enzyme-linked (ELISA) assay. The diagnostic accuracy of each candidate marker was evaluated using receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, reporting the area under the curve (AUC) and its 95% confidence interval (CI). We demonstrated that serum β-catenin levels were significantly elevated in patients with HCC compared to those with CH, ASC and healthy controls. Among the six studied markers, β-catenin was also found to be the only marker that can significantly discriminate between patients with HCC and those with CH; therefore, β-catenin could be considered as a potential marker for early diagnosis of HCV-associated HCC in patients infected with HCV genotype 4.