Background: The current study aims to evaluate whether serum IGF2AS can be used as a marker for early diagnosis of hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Methods: First, the expression of IGF2AS in serum and cancer tissues of HBV-related HCC patients was detected using RT-PCR. Then, according to the Barcelona Staging Method (BCLC), HBV-related HCC patients were further divided into group A, B, C, and D. The serum IGF2AS levels of different groups were further detected. Additionally, HBV-related HCC patients were divided into alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) negative cases and AFP positive cases. The serum level of IGF2AS was also evaluated.
Results: Our data showed that the level of IGF2AS in liver cancer tissues of HBV-related HCC was significantly higher than that in the adjacent non-cancerous tissues. Meanwhile, the serum level of IGF2AS in the HBV-related HCC group was higher than that in healthy control group, chronic HBV group, and HBV-related cirrhosis. Moreover, serum IGF2AS in patients with HBV-related HCC gradually increased in groups A, B, C, and D of HBV-re-lated HCC patients according to BCLC classification. Further analysis showed that serum IGF2AS levels were increased in both AFP-negative HCC patients and AFP-positive HCC patients compared to that in HBV-related cirrhosis patients, suggesting that serum IGF2AS can be used in early identification and diagnosis of HBV-related HCC irrespective of AFP levels.
Conclusions: In summary, for the first time, the current study demonstrated that serum IGF2AS may be a potential biomarker for the diagnosis of HBV-related HCC.