Methods and Compositions for Diagnosing Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Introduction Currently, it is difficult to diagnose HCC. Methods employed generally rely on imaging techniques such as MRI, CT, and ultrasound and are of little use in detecting the disease in its earliest stages. As with most cancers, early detection of HCC would leave physicians with more treatment options and patients with a better prognosis. Technology description This invention detects HCC by assaying patient samples such as tissue, plasma, serum, etc. for the presence and level of specific HCC related proteins. A finding of elevated levels of one or more of these proteins in a patient sample indicates that the patient has HCC. This invention also relates to identification of tumor markers that may be targeted by specific reagents to enhance early diagnosis of HCC by traditional scanning methodologies. The proteins that are useful in accordance with the present invention are: phospholipase A2
(GroupXIII); phospholipase A2 (group VII); anti-thrombinIII; apolipoprotein B; group C specific vitamin D binding protein; gamma-glutymyl hydrolase; nicastrin; pregnancy associated plasma protein A, plasma glutamate carboxypeptidase; secretory carrier membrane protein-3; and other proteins. Business opportunity HCC is the most prevalent form of liver cancer worldwide (1 in 5,000 in Asia to 1 in 20,000 in western nations.) A sensitive, specific diagnostic can be developed for surveillance of all patients in general and certain specific patient subpopulations at risk for developing HCC, for whom early diagnosis would translate into a better prognosis. Intellectual property position US and worldwide patents are pending.
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