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Validation of Protein Biomarker Candidates for Diagnosis of HBV induced HCC

Aqsa Ahmed, Waleed Al-Ansi, Samra Basharat, Ye Li, Zhonghu Bai

Abstract: Hepatocellular carcinoma is a major contributor to the global cancer burden. It affects millions of people in Pakistan on a yearly basis. Furthermore, HCC is linked to viral infections Hepatitis B and C, which account for roughly 87 percent of HCC cases in Pakistan. HCC is identified using imaging techniques such as MRI, Ultrasound, and histology, which have radiation hazards and frequently need expensive healthcare systems that are less available in most of the developing countries. Novel HCC biomarkers are being developed as part of a large research project aimed at detecting the disease early. These include the creation of biomarkers based on HCC patients' transcriptome and proteomic profiles. Circulating proteins, which are easily detected in body fluids, including blood serum, may thus provide an opportunity for the development of HCC biomarkers. Blood-based serum biomarkers must be developed for easy, non-invasive, and early detection of HCC. In conjunction with imaging techniques, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) has been used to detect HCC, although it has little clinical usefulness. Also, the reported AFP negative results make its utility meager. Multiple circulating proteins have been studied as biomarker possibilities for HCC diagnosis in recent years. In this study, Blood serum was used to validate three novel protein biomarker candidates to detect HBV induced HCC that had previously been predicted using a bioinformatics methodology. Proteins named C6, C8A and C8B were measured in the serum of 22 HCC patients infected with HBV in Pakistani population and compared to AFP levels using quantitative ELISA. C8A possesses considerable biomarker potential, with 95.45 percent specificity and 77.27% sensitivity with 0.933 Area Under the Curve (AUC), whereas C6 and C8B showed poor biomarker potential. Hence, C8A demonstrated great promise as a circulating blood-based protein biomarker for HBV induced HCC diagnosis.
Keywords: proteins / protein biomarker candidates / percent / C8A / HCC diagnosis

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