Article Type

Original Study


Objective The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of L1 cell adhesion molecule (L1CAM) in the serum and tissue of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and determine its efficacy in the detection of early HCC. Background HCC meets the criteria of a tumor that would benefit from a surveillance program, but the poor sensitivity and specificity of currently available tools have prevented the widespread implementation of surveillance. Patient and methods This study included 105 patients from Menoufia University Hospitals and National Liver Institute. They were classified into four groups: group I, the healthy control group (15 individuals); group II, which included patients with hepatitis C-related liver cirrhosis (45 patients); group III, which included patients with early HCC (25 patients); and group IV, which included patients with advanced HCC (20 patients). All patients were subjected to thorough history taking, complete physical examination, liver function tests, serum α-fetoprotein evaluation, and serum L1CAM evaluation. Two biopsies were obtained from each patient in group III, one from neoplastic tissue and another one from adjacent cirrhotic tissue to detect the expression of L1CAM by immunohistochemistry. Results The mean serum L1CAM level was highly significantly higher in both the early and advanced HCC groups than in all subgroups of liver cirrhosis. The expression of L1CAM was highly significantly higher in tumor tissues than in adjacent cirrhotic tissues. Conclusion This study suggests that L1CAM is accurate in differentiating patients with HCC even in early stage from those with nonmalignant chronic liver disease.