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To investigate whether the measurement of liver stiffness (LSM) using fibroscan and the serum Cancer Stem Cells (CSC): Ep-CAM and cytokeratin-19, could predict the recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and their impact on clinical outcome and overall survival. This is a prospective study, including 179 HCV-related HCC patients. All patients were treated following the BCLC guidelines. All HCC patients had transient elastography, measurements of Ep-CAM and cytokeratin-19 before and six months post-treatment. We looked for predictors of recurrence and performed a survival analysis using Kaplan-Meier estimates. TACE was the most common procedure (77.1%), followed by microwave ablation (15.6%). Complete ablation was achieved in 97 patients; 55 of them developed HCC recurrence. After treatment, LSM increased significantly with a significant reduction in CSCs levels in complete and partial response groups. The median time to observe any recurrence was 14 months. LSM increased significantly post-treatment in patients with recurrence versus no recurrence. Higher levels of CSCs were recorded at baseline and post-treatment in patients with recurrence but without statistical significance. We used univariate analysis to predict the time of recurrence by determining baseline CK-19 and platelet levels as the key factors, while the multivariate analysis determined platelet count as a single factor. The univariate analysis for prediction of overall survival included several factors, LSM and EpCAM (baseline and post-ablation) among them, while multivariate analysis included factors such as Child score B and incomplete ablation. Dynamic changes were observed in LSM and CSCs levels in response to HCC treatment and tumour recurrence. Child score and complete ablation are factors that significantly affect survival. Copyright © 2020 Pan-Arab Association of Gastroenterology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Hend Ibrahim Shousha, Rabab Fouad, Tamer Mahmoud Elbaz, Dina Sabry, Mohamed Mahmoud Nabeel, Ahmed Hosni Abdelmaksoud, Aisha Mahmoud Elsharkawy, Zeinab Abdellatif Soliman, Ghada Habib, Ashraf Omar Abdelaziz. Predictors of recurrence and survival of hepatocellular carcinoma: A prospective study including transient elastography and cancer stem cell markers. Arab journal of gastroenterology : the official publication of the Pan-Arab Association of Gastroenterology. 2020 Jun;21(2):95-101

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PMID: 32439234

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