Published online Nov 14, 2005. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v11.i42.6701
Revised: June 1, 2005
Accepted: June 2, 2005
Published online: November 14, 2005
AIM: To investigate the correlation between tissue ST6Gal I and serum msAFP in HCC patients, and to investigate their prognostic significance.
METHODS: Preoperative sera, paired tumorous and non-tumorous tissues were collected from 19 consecutive patients who had undergone surgical resection of HCC. ST6Gal I activities in the tissues were measured by an in vitro microsomal enzyme activity assay. The percentages of tumor-specific msAFP in the sera were also estimated by an isoelectric focusing-immunoblotting assay.
RESULTS: The tumor ST6Gal I activity was negatively correlated with serum msAFP percentage (r = -0.53, P = 0.019). Both decreased tumor ST6Gal I activity and increased serum msAFP percentage were associated with poor tumor cell differentiation. Univariate analyses showed that both decreased tumor ST6Gal I activity (P = 0.028), increased serum msAFP percentage (P = 0.034) and poor tumor cell differentiation (P = 0.031) were associated with shorter overall survival. Multivariate analysis using the Cox regression model showed that the preoperative serum msAFP percentage (P = 0.022) and tumor cell differentiation status (P = 0.048) were independent prognostic indicators for patient overall survival.
CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that the presence of msAFP in blood circulation is associated with a decreased activity of ST6Gal I activity in HCC. Both tissue ST6Gal I and serum msAFP are potential prognostic markers for patients with operable HCC.