Serum milk fat globule-EGF factor 8 (MFG-E8) as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma

Tomonari Shimagaki, Sachiyo Yoshio, Hironari Kawai, Yuzuru Sakamoto, Hiroyoshi Doi, Michitaka Matsuda, Taizo Mori, Yosuke Osawa, Moto Fukai, Takeshi Yoshida, Yunfei Ma, Tomoyuki Akita, Junko Tanaka, Akinobu Taketomi, Rikinari Hanayama, Tomoharu Yoshizumi, Masaki Mori, Tatsuya Kanto

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Current serum hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) biomarkers are insufficient for early diagnosis. We aimed to clarify whether serum MFG-E8 can serve as a diagnostic or prognostic biomarker of HCC. Serum MFG-E8 levels of 282 HCC patients, who underwent primary hepatectomy, were examined by ELISA. We also quantified serum MFG-E8 levels in patients with chronic hepatitis (CH), liver cirrhosis (LC), as well as in healthy volunteers (HVs). Serum MFG-E8 levels were significantly lower in HCC patients than in HVs regardless of the etiology of liver disease (3.6 ± 0.1 vs 5.8 ± 0.2 ng/mL, p < 0.0001), and recovered after treatment of HCC. Serum MFG-E8 levels in CH and LC patients were comparable to those in HVs. Serum MFG-E8 could detect HCCs, even α-fetoprotein (AFP)-negative or des-γ-carboxy prothrombin (DCP)-negative HCCs, in CH and LC patients. Our new HCC prediction model using MFG-E8 and DCP (Logit(p) = 2.619 − 0.809 × serum MFG-E8 + 0.0226 × serum DCP) distinguished HCC patients from CH and LC patients with an area under the curve of 0.923, a sensitivity of 81.1%, and a specificity of 89.8%. Futhermore, low preoperative serum MFG-E8 was an independent predictor of poor overall survival. Thus, serum MFG-E8 could serve as a feasible diagnostic and prognostic biomarker for HCC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15788
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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