Objective: Recently, tissue polypeptide specific antigen (TPS) has been introduced as a cell proliferation marker. Little is known about its clinical significance in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This study aimed to clarify serum TPS levels and tumor invasiveness of HCC. Methods: Serum TPS levels were determined with a monoclonal TPS IRMA assay in 69 patients with HCC. A correlation between serum TPS levels and clinical, biochemical, and pathological features was sought and compared with that of α-fetoprotein (AFP). In 57 healthy subjects, 56 patients with biopsy-proven chronic hepatitis and in 49 patients with liver cirrhosis, serum TPS levels were assayed and compared. Results: Serum TPS levels were significantly correlated with glutamic oxalacetic transaminase (p < 0.0001), glutamic pyruvic transaminase (p < 0.001), and lactate dehydrogenase (p = 0.027). There tended to be a positive relationship between serum TPS levels and tumor size, histological differentiation, capsular invasion, portal invasion, and clinical staging, although it did not reach statistical significance. A significant correlation, however, was observed between AFP and tumor size (p = 0.01), number (p = 0.042), histological grading (p = 0.028), portal invasion (p = 0.009), and clinical staging (p = 0.03). Patients with HCC had significantly higher TPS than healthy subjects (p < 0.001). However, there was substantial overlap between patients with HCC, chronic hepatitis, and liver cirrhosis. Conclusions: Our data suggest that serum TPS is not significantly related to tumor invasiveness in patients with HCC. Serum TPS levels are affected by the proliferative activity of the underlying chronic liver disease, which is frequently associated with HCC in Chinese patients. As a cell proliferation marker, serum TPS should be interpreted cautiously in the presence of chronic liver disease.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes