Alkaline phosphatase: does it have a role in predicting hepatocellular carcinoma recurrence?

Yu, Ming-Chin; Chan, Kun-Ming; Lee, Chen-Fang; Lee, Yun-Shien; Eldeen, Firas; Chou, Hong-Shiue; Lee, Wei-Chen; Chen, Miin-Fu; Eldeen, Firas Zahr
August 2011
Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery;Aug2011, Vol. 15 Issue 8, p1440
Academic Journal
journal article
Backgrounds: Surgical resection remains the first line of treatment for earlier stages of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and it offers the best prognosis for long-term survival. Nevertheless, the recurrence rates after resection are still high in reports. Therefore, it is still essential to explore any potential prognostic factors to attain relatively longer-term survival of HCC patients.Materials and Methods: In the period from 1983 to 2005, 1,685 patients who underwent hepatectomy at Chang Gung Memorial hospital were enrolled in the study, and their clinicopathological data were retrospectively reviewed for survival analysis.Results: The 1-, 3-, 5-, and 10-year disease-free survival (DFS) rates in this series were 60.3%, 39.7%, 31.3%, and 24.0%, respectively, whereas the 1-, 3-, 5-, and 10-year overall survival (OS) rates were 80.1%, 59.1%, 46.6%, and 27.7%, respectively. Gross vascular invasion, tumor status, lymph node involvement, satellite lesion, positive surgical margin, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), albumin, presence of cirrhosis, and Child grade B or C were independent prognostic factors for prediction of DFS; while α-fetoprotein, ALP, surgical factors, including complications, blood transfusion, positive resection margin, and tumor characters including tumor status, vascular invasion, and lack of tumor encapsulation were found to be independent predicting factors for OS, as determined by Cox regression analysis. Interestingly, we found that preoperative level of ALP was one of the most important independent predictors of recurrence, even more important that α-fetoprotein (AFP) as we noticed that elevation of ALP above (82 U/L) predicted poor prognosis in patients where AFP levels was less than 66 ng/ml. It is worth to mention that ALP was statistically related to other liver function tests, but not tumor characters by hierarchical clustering; which means that we were able to correlate ALP with prognosis statistically, but not with pathological criteria of the tumor; to elucidate these finding, further basic science research is required.Conclusion: ALP among liver function tests, in addition to other tumor characters were independent factors for DFS and OS; our results suggest that preoperative ALP levels could be utilized to monitor and predict recurrence in high risk HCC patients.


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