Squamous Cell Carcinoma Antigen-Immunoglobulin M (SCCA-IgM) as Biomarker in Liver Disease: Biological Aspects and Clinical Applications

  • A. Biasiolo
  • A. Martini
  • A. Gallotta
  • G. Fassina
  • P. Pontisso
Living reference work entry
Part of the Biomarkers in Disease: Methods, Discoveries and Applications book series (BDMDA)


Chronic liver diseases and cirrhosis are an increasing cause of morbidity and mortality in Western countries. In particular, liver cirrhosis can be an asymptomatic and silent condition until clinical decompensation occurs, which could lead to organ failure, with a mortality rate up to 30 %. One of the main causes of mortality in patients with cirrhosis is hepatocellular carcinoma, one of the most common fatal cancers worldwide, the 4th one for incidence rate. A high public health priority need is the development of biomarkers to screen for liver disease progression and for early diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma development, particularly in the high-risk population represented by patients with cirrhosis. Recently, circulating immune complex squamous cell carcinoma antigen-IgM has shown the ability to identify patients with progressive liver disease and patients at higher risk of hepatocellular carcinoma development. In this chapter, we describe the biochemical and biological features of squamous cell carcinoma antigen and the role of natural IgM to form immune complexes with altered self-antigen during carcinogenesis; we also present the main clinical studies that have investigated this new circulating biomarker in terms of diagnostic and prognostic value in chronic liver disease, liver cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma.


SCCA-IgM Biomarker Cirrhosis Hepatocellular carcinoma HCV Treatment Prognosis 

List of Abbreviations




Lens culinaris agglutinin-reactive fraction of alpha-fetoprotein


Area under receiver operating characteristic


Complement component 1q


Des-gamma carboxy-prothrombin


Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay


Epithelial-mesenchymal transition


Epithelial cell adhesion molecule


Hepatitis B virus


Hepatocellular carcinoma


Hepatitis C virus


Hypoxia-inducible factor-2 alpha


Interferon gamma


Interleukin 6


Mannose-binding lectin


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease


Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis


Nuclear factor-kappa light-chain enhancer of activated B cell


Natural killer


Negative predictive value


Null responders



RAS gene

Rat sarcoma gene


Rheumatoid factor


Reactive-site loop

SCCA1/Serpin B3

Serpin member gene 3


Serpin member gene 4


Squamous cell carcinoma antigen-immunoglobulin M


Secreted IgM


Systemic lupus erythematosus


Sustained virological response


Transforming growth factor-beta


Tumor necrosis factor-alpha




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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity of PaduaPaduaItaly
  2. 2.Xeptagen SpAVEGA ParkVeniceItaly

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