Tumor Biology

, Volume 35, Issue 12, pp 12069–12074 | Cite as

RETRACTED ARTICLE: Diagnostic value of alpha-fetoprotein-L3 and Golgi protein 73 in hepatocellular carcinomas with low AFP levels

  • Wan-Ju Xu
  • Bao-Li Guo
  • Yu-Gang Han
  • Lei Shi
  • Wan-Shan Ma
Research Article


This study aimed to investigate the clinical values of serum alpha-fetoprotein-L3 (AFP-L3) and Golgi protein 73 (GP73) in the diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with low alpha-fetoprotein (AFP). From January 2011 to December 2013, 50 low-AFP HCC patients confirmed by the color Doppler flow imaging (CDFI) and pathological examinations were collected. Forty-five patients with chronic liver diseases were also selected, including 29 liver cirrhosis patients, 15 chronic hepatitis B patients, and one severe hepatitis patient. Furthermore, 100 health volunteers with no evidence of benign or malignant liver diseases were included. The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method was applied to the GP73 quantitative assay. Serum AFP concentrations were determined using immunoassays utilizing enhanced chemiluminescence. Diagnostic accuracy of GP73 and AFP-L3 assays for low-AFP HCC was evaluated using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis. Statistical analyses were conducted with the GraphPad Prism 5.0 software. Low-AFP HCC patients (35/50) exhibited higher positive rates of AFP-L3 than non-HCC patients (5/45) and healthy controls (2/100) (both P < 0.05). There were also significant differences in the positive rate of GP73 of low-AFP HCC patients (40/50) compared to those of non-HCC patients (3/45) and healthy controls (1/100) (both P < 0.05). However, no obvious differences in the positive rates of AFP-L3 and GP73 were observed between non-HCC patients and healthy controls (both P > 0.05). ROC curves showed that the area under the curve (AUC) of AFP-L3 for the diagnosis of low-AFP HCC was 0.6994 (sensitivity [Sen] = 70.0 %, specificity [Spe] = 95.2 %, accuracy = 88.7 %), while the AUC of GP73 was 0.8411 (Sen = 80.0 %, Spe = 97.2 %, accuracy = 92.8 %). Compared with single detection, the combination of AFP-L3 and GP73 levels for the diagnosis of low-AFP HCC showed higher Sen (94.0 %), Spe (93.1 %), and better accuracy (93.3 %). Our findings provide empirical evidence that the combination of AFP-L3 and GP73 is a good diagnostic strategy for low-AFP HCC.


Alpha-fetoprotein-L3 Golgi protein 73 Hepatocellular carcinoma 



We would like to acknowledge the reviewers for their helpful comments on this paper.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wan-Ju Xu
    • 1
  • Bao-Li Guo
    • 2
  • Yu-Gang Han
    • 3
  • Lei Shi
    • 4
  • Wan-Shan Ma
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical LaboratoryQianfoshan HospitalJinanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Clinical LaboratoryZhangqiu Maternity and Child Care hospitalZhangqiuPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Clinical LaboratoryElectric HospitalJinanPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Department of Clinical LaboratoryAffiliated Hospital of Jining Medical UniversityJiningPeople’s Republic of China

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