Plasma level of basic fibroblast growth factor increases with progression of chronic liver disease
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Basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF) is thought to be involved in carcinogenesis and, to clarify its clinical significance, the study of its blood level in cancer patients is important. Plasma levels of basic FGF are reported to be elevated in some cancers. However, little is known of basic FGF levels in plasma in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In this study, we measured basic FGF plasma levels in patients with chronic liver disease and compared the levels in chronic hepatitis (CH), liver cirrhosis (LC), and HCC. We also examined whether these levels were related to serum levels of asparate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, γ-glutamyl transpeptidase, alkaline phosphatase, leucine aminopeptidase, total bilirubin, total protein, and albumin, and to the indocyanine green test (i.e., liver function tests) and to type III procollagen, 7S domain of IV type collagen, and hyaluronic acid (i.e., markers of liver fibrosis). Levels of basic FGF. determined by a quantitative “sandwich” enzyme immunoassay, were significantly elevated with the progression of liver disease; being 3.67 ± 2.37 (mean ± SD), 7.78 ± 6.61, and 12.37 ± 7.67pg/ml in the CH, LC, and HCC groups, respectively. FGF levels were elevated to a greater extent in the HCC patients than in the CH (P<0.0001) and LC patients (P=0.0117). Levels were higher in LC than in CH (P=0.0204). None of the liver function test findings or levels of markers of liver fibrosis were correlated with levels of basic FGF. These results suggest that circulating basic FGF could serve as a new indicator of the progression of chronic liver disease. The extremely elevated plasma of level basic FGF in the HCC group suggests that basic FGF may be related to the development of HCC.
Key wordsbasic FGF hepatocellular carcinoma
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