Can DNA 'Liquid Biopsy' Diagnose Hepatocellular Carcinoma?

Researchers compared HCC tissue and normal blood leukocytes from circulating tumor samples of 1,098 HCC patients
Researchers compared HCC tissue and normal blood leukocytes from circulating tumor samples of 1,098 HCC patients

HealthDay News — 'Liquid biopsy' technology holds promise for diagnosing, monitoring, and predicting prognosis in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), according to a study published online October 9 in Nature Materials

Rui-hua Xu, from State Key Laboratory of Oncology in China, and colleagues compared HCC tissue and normal blood leukocytes from circulating tumor (ctDNA) samples from a cohort of 1,098 HCC patients and 835 normal controls in order to identify an HCC-specific methylation marker panel. 

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The researchers found that methylation profiles of HCC tumor DNA and matched plasma ctDNA were highly correlated. They constructed a prediction model that showed high diagnostic specificity and sensitivity and was highly correlated with tumor burden, treatment response, and stage. They also constructed a prognostic prediction model that effectively predicted prognosis and survival.

"Together, these findings demonstrate in a large clinical cohort the utility of ctDNA methylation markers in the diagnosis, surveillance, and prognosis of HCC," conclude the authors.

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