Serum Wisteria floribunda agglutinin-positive Mac-2 binding protein predicts hepatocellular carcinoma incidence and recurrence in nucleos(t)ide analogue therapy for chronic hepatitis B
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Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) occurs in chronic hepatitis B (CH-B) patients even after treatment with nucleos(t)ide analogues (NAs) by a mechanism involving an association between the oncogenic factors of integrated HBV and liver fibrosis. An association has been demonstrated between advanced chronic liver disease and elevated levels of Wisteria floribunda agglutinin-positive Mac-2 binding protein (WFA(+)-M2BP), a recently discovered serum liver fibrosis marker. Moreover, hepatitis B core-related antigen (HBcrAg) reflects intracellular HBV protein production and its relationship with liver carcinogenesis has been reported. This study aimed to determine whether the incidence and recurrence of HBV-related liver cancer could be predicted using these serum markers.
We evaluated 141 CH-B cases treated for more than 1 year with NAs. We compared 17 HCC cases with 124 non-HCC cases and evaluated serum WFA(+)-M2BP, HBV markers including HBcrAg, and other clinical factors. We also evaluated 71 CH-B-related HCC cases who started or continued NAs and compared the incidence and recurrence of HCC after successful cancer treatment.
Multivariate analysis showed that the incidence of HCC was significantly associated with higher histological stage and grade before NA treatment and with WFA(+)-M2BP and HBcrAg positivity during NA treatment. The cumulative incidence of HCC was strongly associated with higher WFA(+)-M2BP levels and HBcrAg positivity. HCC recurrence after anti-cancer therapy was also significantly associated with higher WFA(+)-M2BP levels compared with those in cases without recurrence during follow-up.
Serum WFA(+)-M2BP and HBcrAg are useful diagnostic tests for predicting the development and recurrence of HBV-related HCC during NA treatment.
KeywordsWisteria floribunda agglutinin-positive Mac-2 binding protein HBV core-related antigen Hepatocellular carcinoma
Wisteria floribunda agglutinin-positive Mac-2 binding protein
Mac-2 binding protein glycosylation isomer
HBV core-related antigen
The authors thank Nami Nishiyama for management of the serum samples.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
None of the material in this manuscript has been or will be published and none is currently under consideration for publication elsewhere, and that the conflict of interest disclosure statement on the ScholarOne manuscript was completed at the time of submission.
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