In order to detect a hematogenous spread of tumor cells in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assay has been used. In this study, we quantified alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) messenger RNA by real-time PCR approach using LightCyclertrade mark technique. AFP messenger RNA in the blood from 23 hepatocellular carcinoma patients undergoing hepatic resection, 31 healthy volunteers, 10 patients with liver cirrhosis and 5 patients underwent hepatectomy except for hepatocellular carcinoma was quantitated. In the real-time PCR, fluorescence was undetectable in any of the controls. On the contrary, fluorescent signals were detected in 10 out of 39 blood specimens collected from 23 HCC patients. AFP-positive status was significantly associated with the existence of multiple intrahepatic nodules. Out of 8 cases with AFP-positive status, intra- and/or extra-hepatic recurrence has been observed in 3 cases. The quantities of AFP messenger RNA in these 3 cases were relatively high among 8 cases with AFP-positive status. AFP messenger RNA was detectable by newly developed real-time PCR approach with LightCycler and it is suggested that this approach could be applicable in detection of small amounts of tumor cells in the blood of HCC patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research