Background and Aim: Follistatin (FST) is a glycoprotein expressed in most organs, which interacts with activins or other members of the transforming growth factor beta family. Recently, several reports have shown that FST regulates a variety of processes during tumor progression. Here, serum FST in patients with liver diseases was measured, and its clinical utility as a biomarker was assessed. Methods: Serum was collected from 162 patients (91 hepatocellular carcinoma [HCC], 43 liver cirrhosis, and 28 chronic hepatitis) as well as from 16 healthy volunteers. FST was quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, and levels were compared with clinical parameters including survival of the HCC patients. Results: Median serum FST levels in HCC, liver cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis, and healthy volunteers were 1168, 1606, 1324, and 1661pg/mL, respectively, not significantly different. In HCC patients, higher serum FST was associated with greater age, hepatitis C virus antibody-negativity, large tumor size, g-glutamyl transpeptidase, des-gamma carboxyprothrombin and presence of portal vein tumor thrombus. Survival of HCC patients with high FST levels was significantly shorter than for those with low levels (P=0.004). Multivariate analysis revealed that in addition to large tumor size and presence of portal vein thrombus, high FST levels were independently correlated with poor prognosis (hazard ratio=2.41, 95% confidence interval=1.16-5.00, P=0.02). Conclusions: Serum FST levels are significantly associated with HCC prognosis and could represent a predictive biomarker in this disease.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2013|
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