Frequent loss of heterozygosity of microsatellites markers on specific chromosomal region have been reported in various types of primary human cancer. The same loss of heterozygosity has also been identified in the matched plasma/serum DNA. Using 109 microsatellite markers representing 24 chromosomal arms, we have examined the loss of heterozygosity in 21 cases of hepatocellular carcinoma, six of cholangiocarcinoma, and 27 cases of chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis. All cases of the hepatocellular carcinoma showed deletion from two to 10 chromosomal arms, while deletion of chromosomes from two to eight regions was detected in five of six cholangiocarcinoma patients. One or more loss of heterozygosity in the paired serum DNA could be detected in 16 of 25 (76.2%) hepatocellular carcinoma patients. In contrast, no alterations in serum DNA test could be found in cholangiocarcinoma patients. Five of seven (71.4%) hepatocellular carcinoma patients with alpha-fetoprotein levels less than 20 ng ml-1 produced positive serum DNA test. The profiles of 19 microsatellite markers gave a 100% positive predictive value and an 80.8% negative predictive value for hepatocellular carcinoma. In conclusion, we have determined a profile of microsatellite markers appropriate for differential diagnosis of primary liver cancer. The discovery may permit a high-throughput screening of hepatocellular carcinoma at an early stage of disease.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes