Liver cancer Awareness Month

Liver Cancer Awareness 1

Every year in the month of October, DBS raises awareness on one of the life-threatening and one of the fastest-growing cancer types among all races, ethnicities, and genders – “Liver Cancer”.

There are two kinds of liver cancer: primary which starts in the liver and secondary which spreads to the liver from another part of the body. The most common type of liver cancer is “primary liver cancer” or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Worldwide, the most common risk factor for primary liver cancer is chronic infection with the hepatitis B virus. Obesity, heavy alcohol use, fatty liver disease, and some metabolic disorders also increase the risk for primary liver cancer.

Studies have shown that early detection of HCC, preferably when still asymptomatic, is desirable to institute early treatment to decrease or abolish risk of HCC.

IHC markers in detection of HCC:

  • Serum alpha-fetoprotein level is the most widely used biomarker for recognizing the occurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma and its recurrence for the past several decades. However, the detection rate on the tissue sections is only around 30%. And the antibody is not specific for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) because it is frequently positive in hepatoblastoma, and germ cell tumors.
  • The initial workup panel of IHC markers usually is two hepatocellular markers (arginase 1/HepPar-1(HSA)/glypican 3) and two adenocarcinoma markers (CK19/MOC31).
  • HAS/HepPar-1, the antibody that showed both high sensitivity and high specificity (greater than 80%), and glypican 3, the antibody that showed very high sensitivity for poorly differentiated HCC.
  • Gene profiling studies have shown that heat shock protein 70(HSP70) is the most abundantly upregulated gene in early HCC

Alpha α Fetoprotein (AFP):

Hepatocyte Specific Antigen:


Heat Shock Protein 70:

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