Clinical Significance of Plasma Osteopontin Level as a Biomarker of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Mona Salem, Sahar Abdel Atti, Maisa El Raziky, Samar Kamal Darweesh, Marwa El Sharkawy


Background: Biomarkers of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are helpful in screening, diagnosis and follow up of cases. Osteopontin (OPN) is aglycoprotein secreted by osteoblasts, osteoclasts, macrophages and T cells, and is over-expressed in a variety of tumors, including carcinomas of liver, stomach, breast, lung, colon, and prostate. So, the aim of this study was to verify the possibility of using the plasma Osteopontin level as a biomarker for diagnosis of HCC.

Methods: The study included 70 subjects divided into three groups: group I had 30 patients with HCC (proved by histopathology or combined spiral CT and elevated alpha-fetoprotein) on top of HCV, group II had 30 patients with HCV infection and group III had 10 healthy subjects serving as control. Osteopontin level was measured in plasma of the studied subjects by ELISA, serum alpha fetoprotein (AFP) level was also measured by EIA.

Results: Osteopontin levels were significantly elevated in patients with HCC and in HCV patients in comparison to control group (P: 0.005). There was significant correlation between OPN and AFP levels (P: 0.00). The sensitivity and specificity of OPN for selective detection of HCC group over the non-HCC group (HCV group and healthy control group) were73% and 54%, respectively, at a cut-off value of 128.5 ng/mL. Plasma OPN levels directly correlated with the tumor number but not with the size of the tumor (P: 0.00).

Conclusion: Plasma OPN level appears to be an additional biomarker for HCC detection.



Osteopontin; Alphafetoprotein; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Tumor marker

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Gastroenterology Research, bimonthly, ISSN 1918-2805 (print), 1918-2813 (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.                     
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