Liquid biopsy for early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma

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Hepatocellular carcinoma

Hepatocellular carcinoma is a common primary liver cancer in adults, and it is also the main cause of death for many cancer patients. There are about 740,000 deaths from hepatocellular carcinoma each year, and the number of new patients exceeds 78 Currently, more than 40,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma every year, and about 29,000 people die from the disease each year. The current incidence of liver cancer is increasing year by year.

Researcher Dr. Scott Lippman said that in the past 10 years, the number of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and its precursor, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, has increased significantly, and it has disproportionately affected Hispanic male patients; this study In our first study, we supported the use of ctDNA for cancer diagnosis. For many cancers, early detection can significantly improve the patient’s prognosis and survival rate, partly because local treatment is more effective than systemic treatment, but the current method of detecting hepatocellular carcinoma mainly depends on imaging and a non-specific tumor Marker-blood test method for alpha-fetoprotein.

Researcher Kang Zhang said that non-invasive blood detection or liquid biopsy technology provides us with a good choice, but we have not made much progress in developing blood-based detection methods for effective screening of hepatocellular carcinoma. The lack of high sensitivity of the blood test method (alpha-fetoprotein test) often limits clinical use.

Liquid Biopsy technique

Many liquid biopsy techniques will work by detecting ctDNA, which is a fragment of genetic material that tumor cells enter into the body’s blood. According to researchers, liquid biopsy often shows more advantages than other cancer detection methods. It has a certain degree of minimally invasiveness and can be completed at any time during the treatment. It can also help clinicians to monitor the molecular changes in patients ’tumors in real time. At the same time, ctDNA can also potentially show the malignant degree of patients’ cancer. Complete molecular map, and tumor liquid biopsy can only be limited to the part of the tumor being detected.

DNA methylation can regulate gene expression, and widespread DNA methylation in genes usually induces gene expression to be turned off. Increasing the degree of methylation of tumor suppressor genes is an early event of tumorigenesis, which also indicates that DNA Changes in methylation patterns may be a good predictor of tumor appearance. In this study, investigator Zhang and colleagues analyzed the methylation characteristics of thousands of hepatocellular carcinoma patients and healthy control individuals, and finally identified a series of methylation markers related to hepatocellular carcinoma Then, the researchers studied 1098 stem cell patients and 835 normal control individuals, and used a variety of machine learning methods and statistical methods to check the efficiency of these markers in detecting and evaluating hepatocellular carcinoma.

Finally, Zhang, the researcher, said that the research results made us very happy. In a large clinical cohort study, blood-based diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma is highly correlated with tumor burden, response to therapy, and the degree of cancer progression. The knowledge of detecting hepatocellular carcinoma and evaluating the efficiency of the corresponding therapy is very limited. This study provides them with a new and effective method for the research and exploration of malignant solid tumors and hepatocellular carcinoma and other cancers.

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