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Carbohydrate Antigen 19-9 Increases the Predictive Efficiency of α-Fetoprotein for Prognosis of Resected Hepatocellular Carcinoma

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Serum α-fetoprotein (AFP) is a classical biomarker for both diagnosis and prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, its predictive efficiency for prognosis remains unsatisfactory. This study explores whether integrating AFP and carbohydrate antigen (CA) 19-9/carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) increase its prognostic efficiency in HCC. A total of 67 HCC patients with complete record of AFP, CA19-9, and CEA, who underwent radical hepatectomy, were included. The sole and combined evaluations for prognostic significance of the three markers were performed. In the first, it was found by one-factor analysis that AFP was a univariate prognostic indicator for disease-free survival, but not overall survival, whereas CEA and CA19-9 were not statistically significant, although the latter was of marginally predictive significance for disease-free survival. Subsequently, it was revealed that combined evaluation of AFP and CA19-9, rather than AFP and CEA, distinguished overall and disease-free survival more effectively, compared with single ones. However, this combination was not significant in multivariate Cox regression analysis, thus needing further validation, especially in large-scale prospective investigations. The addition of vascular invasion to AFP/CA19-9 combination might provide enhanced predictive power for disease-free survival. Collectively, these results preliminarily suggest that CA19-9 increases the predictive efficiency of AFP for prognosis of HCC after resection.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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