ABSTRACT: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has a prevalence of over 20% in Western societies. Affected individuals are at risk of developing both cirrhosis and hepatocellular cancer (HCC). Presently there is no cost effective population based means of identifying cirrhotic individuals and even if there were, our ability to perform HCC surveillance in the at risk group is inadequate. We have performed a pilot proteomic study to assess this as a strategy for serum biomarker detection.
2D Gel electrophoresis was performed on immune depleted sera from 3 groups of patients, namely those with (1) pre-cirrhotic NAFLD (2) cirrhotic NAFLD and (3) cirrhotic NAFLD with co-existing HCC. Five spots differentiating at least one of these three groups were characterised by mass spectroscopy. An ELISA assay was optimised and a cross sectional study assessing one of these serum spots was performed on serum from 45 patients with steatohepatitis related cirrhosis and HCC and compared to 77 patients with histologically staged steatohepatitis.
Four of the spots identified were apolipoprotein isoforms, the pattern of which was able to differentiate the three groups. The 5th spot, seen in the serum of cirrhotic individuals and more markedly in those with HCC, was identified as CD5 antigen like (CD5L). By ELISA assay, although CD5L was markedly elevated in a number of cirrhotic individuals with HCC, its overall ability to distinguish non-cancer from cancer individuals as determined by AUC ROC analysis was poor. However, serum CD5L was dramatically increased, independently of age, sex, and the presence of necroinflammation, in the serum of individuals with NAFLD cirrhosis relative to those with pre-cirrhotic disease.
This novel proteomic strategy has identified a number of candidate biomarkers which may have benefit in the surveillance and diagnosis of individuals with chronic liver disease and/or HCC.
BMC Cancer 09/2009; 9:271. · 3.01 Impact Factor
Journal of Hepatology 08/2008; 49(1):148. · 9.26 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The incidence and mortality of hepatocellular cancer (HCC) complicating alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases (ALD and NAFLD) is rising in western societies. Despite knowing the at risk populations for HCC development, the lack of sensitive and specific means of surveillance hampers disease detection at curable stages. The most widely used serum HCC marker is alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), while PIVKA-II, glypican-3 (GP3) and Squamous Cell Carcinoma Antigen -1 (SCCA-1) have been proposed as new biomarkers. Assessment of these HCC biomarkers has largely been performed in patients with viral hepatitis. We conducted a cross sectional study assessing the value of these serum proteins, as well a novel candidate biomarker -follistatin - in patients with HCC arising on a background of ALD or NAFLD.
Pre-treatment serum samples from 50 patients with HCC arising on a background of ALD (n = 31) or NAFLD (n = 19) were assessed by specific ELISA assay for PIVKAII, Glypican-3, SCCA-1 and Follistatin. Results were compared and contrasted with a control patient group with biopsy proven steatohepatitis-related cirrhosis (n = 41). The diagnostic accuracy of each of the candidate biomarkers was evaluated using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, reporting the area under the curve (AUC) and its 95% confidence interval (CI). Performance was compared to that of the established biomarker, AFP.
Serum levels of all proteins were assessed by specific ELISA assays. GP3, SCCA-1 and follistatin had no HCC surveillance benefit in these patients. AFP and PIVKAII were superior to the other markers, particularly in combination.
We conclude that while novel means of surveillance are urgently required, the combination of AFP and PIVKAII for HCC is an improvement on AFP alone in ALD/NAFLD patients. Furthermore, our data in this homogenous subset of patients- particularly that confirming no role for SCCA-1 - suggests that the choice of optimal biomarkers for HCC surveillance may be determined by the aetiology of underlying chronic liver disease.
BMC Cancer 01/2008; 8:200. · 3.01 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Oxidative stress is putatively involved in the pathogenesis of alcohol-induced liver injury. This trial was devised to determine whether antioxidant therapy, alone or as an adjunct to corticosteroids, improved survival in patients with acute alcoholic hepatitis.
Patients with a severe alcoholic hepatitis were stratified by sex and steroid use, and then randomized. The active group received N-acetylcysteine for one week, and vitamins A-E, biotin, selenium, zinc, manganese, copper, magnesium, folic acid and Coenzyme Q daily for 6 months. The trial was double blinded and placebo controlled. The primary end-point was mortality within 6 months.
Thirty-six (20 male, 16 female; mean discriminant function (DF) 86.6) received active drug, and 34 (18 male, 16 female; mean DF 76.4) received placebo. 180-day survival was not significantly different between patients receiving drug and placebo (52.8% vs. 55.8%, p=0.699). This was not affected by stratification for steroid use or sex. The only predictors of survival in multivariate analysis were initial bilirubin (p=0.017), white cell count (p=0.016) and age (p=0.037). Treatment allocation did not affect survival in multivariate analysis (p=0.830).
Antioxidant therapy, alone or in combination with corticosteroids, does not improve 6-month survival in severe alcoholic hepatitis.
Journal of Hepatology 09/2007; 47(2):277-83. · 9.26 Impact Factor