Common medical screen predicts liver cancer risk in general population
Enzyme levels in the blood routinely monitored by physicians as liver function indicators are also the best predictor of liver cancer risk for the general population, a team of scientists in Taiwan and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reports today in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
"These two enzymes alone predicted 91 percent of liver cancer cases in our prospective study," said paper senior author Xifeng Wu, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of MD Anderson's Department of Epidemiology. "If our research is confirmed in other studies, we'd have a measure for liver cancer risk that's easy to apply via a simple blood test that's already in widespread clinical use."
While hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus infection are predictors of cancer risk among people considered at high risk of developing liver cancer, the enzyme levels outperformed both HBV and HCV infection as risk predictors in a general population. Between 30 and 40 percent of people who develop liver cancer are not infected with either virus. There has been no way to assess their risk, Wu noted.
"Knowing their risk would allow people to respond with lifestyle changes to address other risk factors, such as stopping smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, engaging in physical activity and better managing diabetes," Wu said.
According to the National Cancer Institute, 5-year survival rates for liver cancer patients range from:
- 27.7 percent of those with disease limited to the liver upon diagnosis;
- 10 percent of those whose disease has spread to lymph nodes; and
- only 2.1 percent of those with disease that has spread to other organs.
Wu and colleagues' prospective study evaluated comprehensive medical, demographic and lifestyle data from 428,584 people in Taiwan from 1994 to 2008 who are covered by MJ Health Management, the largest private health-screening company in Asia. Average follow-up was 8.5 years.
The researchers divided study participants into two groups: the 130,533 who had known HCV test results and the other 298,051. They found 1,668 cases of liver cancer.
Wu and colleagues then analyzed data routinely gathered by MJ Health Management based on screening for 100 separate factors and a 100-item questionnaire. Information included:
- Personal characteristics such as age, gender, height, weight, body fat percentage, blood pressure, pulse rate and respiration rate.
- Medical history including stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
- Blood tests after overnight fasting to check blood counts, blood sugar, liver, kidney and thyroid function, lipid levels, and HBV or HCV infection.
- Lifestyle factors such as alcohol consumption, smoking and physical activity.
Five models were analyzed: health history alone, transaminase enzymes alone, health history plus transaminases, and a model that added HBV status and AFP protein level to the third model. The fifth model added HCV, including all five factors. They found:
- The model that relied only on levels of the enzymes alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) predicted 91.2 percent of cancer cases.
- Both HBV and HCV separately predicted 84 percent of cases.
- Adding HCV and HBV to the transaminase model only boosted predictive power to 93.3 percent.
- All five factors raised prediction to 94 percent.
Their models were applied to eight hypothetical people with varying risk profiles. A person with HBV but with abnormal transaminase had a probability of 38.2 percent of having liver cancer in 10 years. A person with HBV and normal transaminases would have only a .3 percent risk at 10 years if other risk factors are equal to the first person.
"We think our models will apply generally, but validation studies must be conducted in other populations," Wu said.
Future plans include putting the risk models on a website for public use.
According to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 28,750 new cases of liver cancer will be diagnosed in 2012 and 20,550 people will die from the disease.
Worldwide, an estimated 749,000 cases were diagnosed in 2008, the latest year available, and 695,000 people died, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Countries in Asia, Africa and Southern Europe have the highest incidence of the disease.
Journal reference: Journal of the National Cancer Institute
Provided by University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
- Family history of liver cancer increases risk of developing the disease Apr 24, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Hepatitis B exposure may increase risk for pancreatic cancer Sep 30, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- The risk factors of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in HCV patients Oct 23, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Metabolic syndrome may increase risk for liver cancer Apr 03, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Hepatitis B virus mutations may predict risk of liver cancer Jul 02, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
18 hours ago As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
(HealthDay)—The American Cancer Society, which is celebrating on Wednesday a century of fighting a disease once viewed as a death sentence, is making a pledge to put itself out of business.
Cancer 8 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) investigators also conclude that the 20 percent reduction in lung cancer mortality with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) versus chest X-ray (CXR) screening previously reported in the ...
Cancer 8 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Researchers have developed a new drug delivery system that allows inhalation of chemotherapeutic drugs to help treat lung cancer, and in laboratory and animal tests it appears to reduce the systemic damage ...
Cancer 12 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
When turned on, the gene p53 turns off cancer. However, when existing drugs boost p53, only a few tumors die – the rest resist the challenge. A study published in the journal Cell Reports shows how: tumors that live even i ...
Cancer 12 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Study leader, Professor John Mathews from the University of Melbourne said this small increase in cancer risk must be weighed against the undoubted benefits from CT scans in diagnosing and monitoring disease.
Cancer 16 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Existing research shows that bicyclists who wear helmets have an 88 percent lower risk of brain injury, but researchers at Boston Children's Hospital found that simply having bicycle helmet laws in place showed a 20 percent ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Swiss scientists reveal the mechanism responsible for aging hidden deep within mitochondria—and dramatically slow it down in worms by administering antibiotics to the young.
12 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (7) | 0 |
Researchers from Queen Mary, University of London have led the largest sequencing study of human disease to date, investigating the genetic basis of six autoimmune diseases.
12 hours ago | 4 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Until now, little was scientifically known about the human potential to cultivate compassion—the emotional state of caring for people who are suffering in a way that motivates altruistic behavior.
9 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 2 |
(HealthDay)—Migraines and depression can each cause a great deal of suffering, but new research indicates the combination of the two may be linked to something else entirely—a smaller brain.
9 hours ago | 4 / 5 (2) | 0 |
A new approach for immunizing against influenza elicited a more potent immune response and broader protection than the currently licensed seasonal influenza vaccines when tested in mice and ferrets. The vaccine ...
10 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |