Clinical Research Papers:

Serum thioredoxin is a diagnostic marker for hepatocellular carcinoma

Jun Li _, Zhang-Jun Cheng, Yang Liu, Zhen-Lin Yan, Kui Wang, Dong Wu, Xu-Ying Wan, Yong Xia, Wan Yee Lau, Meng-Chao Wu and Feng Shen

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:9551-9563. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.3314

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Jun Li1,*, Zhang-Jun Cheng2,*, Yang Liu1,*, Zhen-Lin Yan1, Kui Wang1, Dong Wu1, Xu-Ying Wan3, Yong Xia1, Wan Yee Lau1,4, Meng-Chao Wu1, Feng Shen1

1Department of Hepatic Surgery, The Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China

2Department of General Surgery, The Zhongda Hospital, Southeast University, Nanjing, China

3Department of Chinese Traditional Medicine, The Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China

4Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Feng Shen, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: thioredoxin, hepatocellular carcinoma, biomarker, diagnosis, chinese

Received: December 14, 2014     Accepted: February 08, 2015     Published: March 19, 2015


Here we found that serum levels of thioredoxin were increased in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The optimum diagnostic cutoff for thioredoxin was 20.5 ng/mL (area under curve [AUC] 0.946 [95% CI 0.923–0.969] in the training cohort; 0.941 [0.918–0.963] in the validation cohort). High serum concentrations of thioredoxin differentiated HCC from chronic liver diseases and cirrhosis (0.901 [0.875–0.923] in the training cohort; 0.906 [0.870–0.925] in the validation cohort). Furthermore, a higher proportion of patients with very early HCC had positive results for thioredoxin than for alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) (73.7% VS.31.6%; P < 0.0001). Among AFP-negative patients with very early HCC, 18 (69.2%) of 26 had positive thioredoxin results. Our results indicate that serum thioredoxin complements measurement of AFP in the diagnosis of HCC, especially in very early disease. Combined model (thioredoxin and AFP) showed a significantly greater discriminatory ability as compared with those markers alone.

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