Detection of hepatocellular carcinoma using glycomic analysis

Radoslav Goldman, Habtom W. Ressom, Rency S. Varghese, Lenka Goldman, Gregory Bascug, Christopher A. Loffredo, Mohamed Abdel-Hamid, Iman Gouda, Sameera Ezzat, Zuzana Kyselova, Yehia Mechref, Milos V. Novotny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


Purpose: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) represents an increasing health problem in the United States. Serum α-fetoprotein, the currently used clinical marker, is elevated in only ∼ 60% of HCC patients; therefore, the identification of additional markers is expected to have significant public health impact. The objective of our study was to quantitatively assess N-glycans originating from serum glycoproteins as alternative markers for the detection of HCC. Experimental Design: We used matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry for quantitative comparison of 83 N-glycans in serum samples of 202 participants (73 HCC cases, 77 age-and gender-matched cancer-free controls, and 52 patients with chronic liver disease). N-glycans were enzymatically released from serum glycoproteins and permethy-lated before mass spectrometric quantification. Results: The abundance of 57 N-glycans was significantly altered in HCC patients compared with controls. The sensitivity of six individual glycans evaluated for separation of HCC cases from population controls ranged from 73% to 90%, and the specificity ranged from 36% to 91%. A combination of three selected N-glycans was sufficient to classify HCC with 90% sensitivity and 89% specificity in an independent validation set of patients with chronic liver disease. The three N-glycans remained associated with HCC after adjustment for chronic viral infection and other known covariates, whereas the other glycans increased significantly at earlier stages of the progression of chronic viral infection to HCC. Conclusion: A set of three identified N-glycans is sufficient for the detection of HCC with 90% prediction accuracy in a population with high rates of hepatitis C viral infection. Further evaluation of a wider clinical utility of these candidate markers is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1808-1813
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'Detection of hepatocellular carcinoma using glycomic analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this